Washington Long-Term Care, Initiative 1163 (2011)

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Initiative 1163
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Type:State statute
Topic:Healthcare
Status:Approved Approveda
The Washington Long-Term Care, Initiative 1163, appeared on the November 2011 statewide ballot in Washington as an Initiative to the People where it was approved. Approveda.[1]

The measure re-enacted background checks, training, and certain other requirements for long-term care workers and providers.

Election results

See also: 2011 ballot measure election results
Washington Initiative 1163
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,222,019 65.02%
No657,47034.98%

Source: Washington Secretary of State, official election results[2]

Text of measure

The text of the measure read:[3]

This measure would repeal and reenact background checks, training, and certain other requirements for long-term care workers and providers; and address financial accountability and administrative expenses of the long-term in-home care services program.



Should this measure be enacted into law?

Summary

According to the description prepared by the Washington Secretary of State:

This measure would repeal and reenact certain statutes governing long-term care for eligible elderly and people with disabilities, including criminal background checks and training requirements for long-term care workers. For the long-term in-home care program, it would provide independent audits, increase fraud investigation, and cap administrative expenses. It would also clarify that long-term care workers are covered by applicable law.

Support

Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed officially certify the 2011 General Election returns, 12-5-11

The measure was supported by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). As of July 8, 2011 supporters submitted and met the state's petition drive deadline for the state 2011 ballot.

  • Supporters argued that there was a need for the measure supported by the vote on a similar measure in 2008 - I-1029. It enacted a law which required people who work with the elderly and disabled to get more training and be certified to do so. Sandeep Kaushik, the "yes" campaign's spokesperson said, "It's clear there are some significant problems with the system that are in need of reform. The voters have already made it clear that they think fixing those problems is a priority."[4]
  • In response to opponents who argued that the state cannot afford the measure Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesman for the "yes" campaign, said, "Will DSHS (the Department of Social and Health Services) have to make some adjustments in their budget to fund this? I think that is likely. But we think this is an important enough priority that should happen."[4]
  • Senate Ways and Means Chairman Ed Murray said he would most likely vote in favor of I-1163 but noted that the initiative did not provide a way to pay for the increased cost.[4]

Donors

According to the State of Washington Public Disclosure Commission there was one political action committees registered in support of I-1163: "People for Quality Efficient & Accountable Home Care."

PAC info:[5]

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
People for Quality Efficient & Accountable Home Care $1,718,949.45[6] $1,646,488.55
Total $1,718,949.45 $1,646,488.55

Top 5 contributors:

Donor Amount
SEIU Healthcare 775NW $1,360,000[7]
Sheet Metal Workers Local 66 $1,500[8]
IBEW Local 46 $500[9]
Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council (MLKCLC) $500[10]
Spokane Regional Labor Council, AFL-CIO $250[11]

(last updated December 2011)

Opposition

The No 1163 campaign argued that the state could not afford I-1163. The campaign also noted that cost estimates could be higher than projected. "Our state is in a deep enough hole. The voters need to take the shovel out of SEIU's hands," Cindi Laws, a spokeswoman for the no campaign, said in a statement.[4]

Opponents included the Washington State Residential Care Council and the Home Care Association of Washington.[4]

  • The Association of Washington Business said, "Initiative 1163 would have a negative impact on the state budget. Given that we’re already $2 billion in the hole, this initiative would only add to our state’s economic problems at a time we can least afford it."[12][13]
  • House Ways and Means Chairman Ross Hunter said he would most likely vote against I-1163 in light of the state's budget hole. At the time of the vote state agencies had prepared a list of potential cuts. Hunter said that voters should ask themselves if they would prefer I-1163 over some of the potential budget cuts.[4]

Donors

According to the State of Washington Public Disclosure Commission there was one political action committees registered in opposition of I-1163: "People Protecting Our Seniors No 1163."

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $1,718,949.45
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $135,479.11

PAC info:[14]

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
People Protecting Our Seniors No 1163 $135,479.11 $121,759.31
Total $135,479.11 $121,759.31

Top 5 contributors:

Donor Amount
WSRCC PAC $30,000.00[15]
C.R.S.A. $5,000[16]
NPDA WA Chapter INC. $5,000[17]
Island Home Nursing, Inc. $1,000[18]
WA State Assoc. Of Home Care Services $1,000[19]
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(last updated December 2011)

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Washington ballot measures, 2011

Support

  • The Pacific Northwest Inlander said, "We supported this initiative when it was I-1029 and it passed in 2008...The state has so far declined to fully enact I-1029, citing the state’s budget problems — if there’s no money, there’s no money. Still, reaffirming as the will of the people these changes to protect our most vulnerable citizens is important. When the state’s financial outlook improves, the Legislature can enforce I-1163."[20]

Opposition

  • The Seattle Times said, ."..the proposal for which signatures were actually collected has no revenue sources. It boldly instructs the state, in effect, to 'find the money somehow and spend it on us.' In this economy, that is totally irresponsible. As we said three years ago, the training requirements for long-term-care workers is a specialized issue that belongs in the Legislature, not on the ballot."[21]
    • A month before the election The Seattle Times reiterated it's stance on the proposed measure. They said, "The Seattle Times opposes Initiative 1163. It is a grab for public money at a time when there is no money."[22]
  • The Olympian said, "It’s with great reluctance that The Olympian’s editorial board urges a “no” vote on Initiative 1163. It’s simply the wrong time to add to the financial burden bogging down the state of Washington...The primary reason why The Olympian’s editorial board recommends that voters reject Initiative 1163 is the timing."[23]
  • The Columbian said, "The state’s largest union would have you believe Initiative 1163 on the Nov. 8 ballot is about protecting services to vulnerable adults. The truth is, though, Initiative 1163 actually is about the union. This ballot measure calls for something that already occurs, paying for it with money the state doesn’t have, and solving a problem that doesn’t exist. For those three reasons, The Columbian recommends a “No” vote."[24]
  • The Yakima-Herald Republic said, "Three years ago, in our editorial opposing Initiative 1029, we wrote: 'Initiative 1029 is a classic example of the Achilles' heel of the initiative process. That would be: Legislation that is this complex and rife with unknowns should not be drafted by a special interest group and then presented to the voting public for an up-or-down vote. Rather, it belongs in the legislative arena where it can be subjected to debate, compromise and public hearings.' And, we would add, a way to pay for it. Without it, this is an exercise whose futility in itself warrants a no vote."[25]
  • The Tri-City Herald said, "It's true, some of the state's most vulnerable citizens have suffered at the hands of in-home caregivers, but proponents haven't shown that additional training or more extensive background checks would have prevented the abuses. Increased state oversight would make more sense, but if anything, the diversion of $80 million from existing programs will make it more difficult to keep tabs on caregivers. The Herald editorial board recommends voters reject Initiative 1163."[26]
  • The Spokesman-Review said, "Against that backdrop, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on employee training of questionable need to address a questionable problem. Voters have been sympathetic to the needs of home health care workers, but the union has not made the case that this initiative addresses a need so vital that it supersedes all others. Voters ought to evaluate I-1163 in that context and vote no."[27]
  • The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin said, "The initiative creates unnecessary mandates for worker training at adult care facilities."[28]
  • Sound Politics said, "This initiative has many "sounds good" "feel good" provisions but a red flag goes up when one learns that it is heavily supported by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an aggressive union primarily of government workers. It would raise costs just when the Legislature and Governor are struggling to balance the state budget."[29]
  • The News Tribune said, "If you think this is a good time for the state to spend millions of dollars it doesn’t have on something it doesn’t need, Initiative 1163 is your baby. Otherwise, kill this measure and let lawmakers try to do damage control on the state’s recession-stricken budget without the interference of another unfunded mandate."[30]
  • The Herald Everett said, "I-1163 was born of impatience and stubbornness, and without regard to glaring fiscal realities. Voters should reject it."[31]
  • The Bellingham Herald said, "If you think this is a good time for the state to spend millions of dollars it doesn't have on something it doesn't need, Initiative 1163 is your baby. Otherwise, kill this measure and let lawmakers try to do damage control on the state's recession-stricken budget without the interference of another unfunded mandate."[32]
  • The Wenatchee World said, "Vote for the initiative and you are not just voting for new training for those who care for the elderly, you are voting to take that money from something, or someone else...We can’t afford this, not now. Vote no on Initiative 1163."[33]

Polls

See also: Polls, 2011 ballot measures
  • An August 2011 poll by pollster Stuart Elway revealed that 77 percent of surveyed voters support the proposed initiative, while 9 percent opposed it and 14 percent were undecided.[34] According to reports, a total of 407 registered voters were surveyed.[35]
Legend

     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
August 2011 Elway Poll 77% 9% 14% 407

Reports and analyses

OFM impact report

In early August 2011 the Washington Office of Financial Management released fiscal impact statements for initiatives scheduled to appear on the 2011 ballot, including Initiative 1163. Below is an excerpt:

Current law requires increased mandatory training, background checks and certification for long-term care workers, depending on worker classification, beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Initiative 1163 would require the training, background checks and certification for long-term care workers to begin Jan. 7, 2012, but delay these requirements for community residential providers until Jan 1, 2016. For the long-term in-home care program, administrative costs are capped and performance audits with additional fraud investigators are required. Over six fiscal years, costs are estimated to increase $31.3 million and revenue from the federal government and fees is estimated to increase $18.4 million.
Read the full report here

Path to the ballot

See also: Washington signature requirements
State election crews verify submitted initiative petitions for 2011
Photo credit: Washington Secretary of State's office

In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters were required to submit a minimum of 241,153 valid signatures by July 8, 2011.

A total of 16 initiatives were filed. Five were withdrawn by sponsors: 1138, 1139, 1140, 1141, 1142.

An estimated 340,000 signatures were submitted on deadline day.[36] Sponsors of the proposed initiative reportedly spent $241,165 on signature gatherers.[37]

Due to the large number of submitted signatures the petition qualified for 3 percent random sampling. A total of 10,317 signatures were reviewed, with 9,028 being accepted. The error rate was 15.28 percent. The Washington Secretary of State certified the measure for the statewide ballot on August 1, 2011.[38]


Initiative Required sig. Submitted sig. (unofficial) Result (official)
Initiative 1163 241,153 340,000 Certified - 15.28% error rate

Signature fraud

On July 22, 2011 the Washington Elections Division requested that the Washington State Patrol investigate petition signatures for I-1163 that appeared to be fraudulent. The state was alerted by Service Employees International Union Healthcare 775 Northwest, sponsor of I-1163, and the California-based PCI petition firm. According to state officials, none of the potentially fraudulent signatures were included in the submitted signatures.[39]

Timeline

Calendar.png

The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:

Event Date Developments
Initiative filed February 28, 2011 The initiative was first filed with the Washington Secretary of State
Petition drive deadline July 8, 2011 An estimated 340,000 petition signatures were submitted
Certified August 1, 2011 The initiative was certified and referred to the ballot

See also

By Bailey Ludlam
Ballot measure writer

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Related measures

ApprovedaWashington Long-Term Care Initiative, Initiative 1029 (2008)

Articles

External links

Campaign links

Additional reading

Editorials

Aftermath

References

  1. Issaquah Press,"Voters toast liquor initiative, shut down tolling measure," November 15, 2011
  2. Washington Secretary of State - From Our Corner blog,"Gregoire, Reed certify 2011 election returns," December 5, 2011
  3. Washington Secretary of State,"Filed Initiatives 2011 - Initiative 1176," accessed June 10, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 The Seattle Times,"Caregiver initiative's hurdle: state's budget hole," October 16, 2011
  5. Washington Public Disclosure Commission,"Initiatives 2011," accessed October 13, 2011
  6. The Seattle Times,"Costco, Kemper Freeman and SEIU putting money on initiatives," July 13, 2011
  7. $1,360,000 contributed to "People for Quality Efficient & Accountable Home Care", accessed October 13, 2011
  8. $1,500 contributed to "People for Quality Efficient & Accountable Home Care", accessed October 13, 2011
  9. $500 contributed to "People for Quality Efficient & Accountable Home Care", accessed October 13, 2011
  10. $500 contributed to "People for Quality Efficient & Accountable Home Care", accessed October 13, 2011
  11. $250 contributed to "People for Quality Efficient & Accountable Home Care", accessed October 13, 2011
  12. The Olympian,"Realtors, AWB oppose Eyman's toll measure," September 29, 2011
  13. AWB,"AWB 2011 Candidate, Ballot Measure Endorsements," September 23, 2011
  14. Washington Public Disclosure Commission,"Initiatives 2011," accessed October 13, 2011
  15. $30,000 contributed to "People Protecting Our Seniors No 1163", accessed October 13, 2011
  16. $5,000 contributed to "People Protecting Our Seniors No 1163", accessed October 13, 2011
  17. $5,000 contributed to "People Protecting Our Seniors No 1163", accessed October 13, 2011
  18. $1,000 contributed to "People Protecting Our Seniors No 1163", accessed October 13, 2011
  19. $1,000 contributed to "People Protecting Our Seniors No 1163", accessed October 13, 2011
  20. Inlander,"Deja Voting," October 5, 2011
  21. The Seattle Times,"Initiative 1163: Why no funding source, SEIU?," July 18, 2011
  22. The Seattle Times,"Vote No on I-1163, a grab for public money," October 7, 2011
  23. The Olympian,"ELECTION 2011: When every dollar counts, timing is poor for Initiative 1163," September 27, 2011
  24. The Columbian,"‘No’ on I-1163," October 14, 2011
  25. Yakima-Herald Republic,"Initiatives' verdict: No on 1125 and 1163, yes on 1183," October 16, 2011
  26. Tri-City Herald,"Initiative 1163: We say no," October 20, 2011
  27. The Spokesman-Review,"Editorial: No on I-1163 because case unclear, money tight," October 15, 2011
  28. Union-Bulletin,"Initiative 1163 too expensive -- reject it," October 18, 2011
  29. Sound Politics,"Recommendations for November 8, 2011 Elections," October 24, 2011
  30. The News Tribune,"I-1163: Can't afford it, don't need it, hurts the state," October 9, 2011
  31. The Herald Everett,"An unaffordable mandate," October 25, 2011
  32. The Bellingham Herald,"OUR VIEW: I-1163 a union attempt to gain clout, not aid care workers," October 27, 2011
  33. The Wenatchee World,"An initiative we still can’t afford," October 27, 2011
  34. The Seattle Times,"New poll shows voters split on liquor, tolling initiatives," August 23, 2011
  35. The Stranger,"Why the Elway Poll Shows the Home Healthcare Initiative With 77 Percent Approval," August 24, 2011
  36. The Columbian,"Care worker initiative resurrected," July 11, 2011
  37. The Columbian,"Care worker initiative resurrected," July 11, 2011
  38. Washington Secretary of State,"Certification of Initiative to the People 1163," August 1, 2011
  39. The Olympian,"State Patrol to probe I-1163 signature fraud," July 22, 2011