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

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The Washington Long-Term Care Initiative, also known as Initiative 1029, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Washington as an Initiative to the People, where it was approved. The measure required people who work with the elderly and disabled to be trained and certified to do so.[1]

Election results

Washington Initiative 1029 (2008)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 2,113,773 72.53%
No800,73327.47%

Election results via: Washington Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:[2]

Initiative Measure No. 1029 concerns long-term care services for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

This measure would require long-term care workers to be certified as home care aides based on an examination, with exceptions; increase training and criminal background check requirements; and establish disciplinary standards and procedures.

Should this measure be enacted into law?

Yes [ ] No [ ][3]

Fiscal note

A fiscal impact statement was included in the 2008 Voters' Guide. The fiscal impacts of Initiative 985 are described as follows:[2]

Beginning January 1, 2010, 75 hours of training would be required for most long-term care workers, up from a maximum of 34 hours now required, depending on the worker’s classification. New long-term care workers would have to pass state-financed state and federal background checks. Any long-term care worker hired to care for elderly or disabled persons whose care is paid for by the state would have to be state-certified as a home care aide. Approximately 20,000 new long-term care workers are hired each year. Estimated costs are $651,000 for fiscal year 2009 and $29.7 million for 2009–11.[3]

Support

"People for Safe Quality Care", the committee supporting Initiative 1029, was sponsored by SEIU 775 and the Western and Central Washington Alzheimer's Association Governor. Governor Christine Gregoire supported the initiative.[4]

Arguments

The following reasons were given in support of Initiative 1029 in the Washington 2008 Voters' Guide:[2]

All of us want safe, quality care for friends and family who are elderly, sick, disabled, and vulnerable to injury or abuse. Yet currently, manicurists and hairdressers have stricter training and certification requirements than caregivers for elderly relatives and those with disabilities.

Initiative 1029 will improve long-term care by increasing training standards, requiring state certification, and mandating FBI criminal background checks.

I-1029 exempts unpaid providers and those caring for their parents and children.

YES ON I-1029: IMPROVED TRAINING WILL MEAN MORE DEPENDABLE CARE FOR WASHINGTON SENIORS.

Thousands of Washington residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and developmental disabilities receive care in their own homes. I-1029 will increase training requirements to 75 hours and require state certification for caregivers ¾ equal to federal standards for nursing homes.

YES ON I-1029: PROTECT VULNERABLE SENIORS WITH EXPANDED FBI CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS.

Most caregivers are compassionate, loving professionals but we’ve all seen headlines about tragic cases of abuse and neglect. For example, in July caregivers at an Everett adult family home were arrested for identity theft. They stole thousands from an 83-year old man with dementia. I-1029 will protect vulnerable seniors by requiring nationwide FBI background checks.

YES ON I-1029: A SMART INVESTMENT THAT HELPS SENIORS STAY AT HOME.

Home and community-based care is more cost effective than expensive institutions, and saves taxpayers’ money. I-1029 is a responsible investment to ensure that seniors can find trained caregivers they need to live independently in their own homes.

YES ON I-1029: BACKED BY SENIORS, NURSES, HOME CARE WORKERS, FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE, PROSECUTORS, AND SHERIFFS.

I-1029 is based on a bi-partisan compromise worked out to improve care while controlling costs. It is backed by senior advocates, thousands of nurses and home care workers, Democratic and Republican legislators, State Council of Firefighters, Fraternal Order of Police, and sheriffs and prosecutors across Washington State.

For more information, visit www.yeson1029.org or call 1 (888) 224-3851.[3]

The arguments in favor of Initiative 1029 were prepared by:[2]

  • Louise Ryan, Washington State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
  • Nancy Dapper, executive director, Alzheimer’s Association of Western/Central Washington
  • Marty Levine, MD, Geriatrician, Medical Chief, Group Health Burien
  • Karen Keiser, State Senator, Chair, Senate Health Care Committee
  • Blanche Razo, 73, care recipient with lung disease, emphysema, Toppenish
  • Kathy Gold, RN, nurse who inspects long-term care facilities, Everett

Contributions

According to Public Disclosure Commission filings through Oct. 10, 2008, People for Safe Quality Care raised $985,845.10 for 2008 from three contributors: SEIU Healthcare 775NW ($945,648.30), the Working Families Coalition ($39,696.81), and the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 17 PAC ($500).[5]

Opposition

The "Community Care Coalition of Washington" opposed Initiative 1029.

Arguments

The following reasons were given in opposition to Initiative 1029 in the Washington 2008 Voters' Guide:[2]

I-1029 SHOULD BE REJECTED – IT HURTS FAMILIES, CAREGIVERS AND TAXPAYERS.

I-1029 makes it harder for families to provide care for loved ones. It forces many families to undergo 75 hours of training, fingerprinting and intensive background checks with FBI and national sex offender data bases – all before receiving state support to care for their own children or parents! Training may be difficult to get, especially in rural areas.

Neighbors and community members providing part-time care would face the same unnecessary requirements. Many will stop providing care. There are already shortages of in-home and community caregivers – we cannot afford to lose more. Non-career caregivers help keep families together. I-1029 makes it harder to keep loved ones at home and out of expensive institutional care.

I-1029 DRIVES UP COSTS FOR EVERYONE.

Health care costs are already skyrocketing. It wastes tens of millions of taxpayer dollars that could provide other vital services.

Don’t be misled – I-1029 won’t improve care. Background checks are already required for most caregivers. A governor’s task force found no evidence that an arbitrary, 75-hour classroom training standard improves quality. Today, training and supervision is tailored to the diverse needs of those in our care. I-1029’s rigid requirements won’t allow that.

DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS OVERWHELMINGLY REJECT THESE PROPOSALS AS UNNECESSARY, INEFFECTIVE AND TOO EXPENSIVE.

Washington has a quality care system – the National Conference of State Legislatures named it one of the top three models for other states to follow.

KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER! KEEP COSTS LOW! REJECT I-1029!

For more information, visit www.communitycarecoalitionwa.org or call 1 (877) 488-8565.[3]

The arguments against Initiative 1029 were prepared by:[2]

  • Darlene Storti, Board Chair, Aging Services of Washington
  • Joe Mayo, President, Home Care of Washington, Spokane
  • Helen Sommers, State House of Representatives Appropriations Chair, Seattle
  • Ron Ralph, member, Advocates for Developmental Disabilities Choices, parent, Seattle
  • Mary Margaret Cornish, Chair, Community Residential Services Association, Yakima
  • Craig Fredrickson, member, Governor’s Caregiver Training Workgroup

Contributions

According to Public Disclosure Commission filings through Oct. 8, 2008, the Community Care Coalition of Washington raised $143,758.40 for 2008. The largest single contribution came from Washington Association of Housing Services for the Aging ($14,404.94). Top contributors included Home Care Association of Washington ($31,024.68), Washington Association of Housing Services for the Aging ($27,825.38), and Visiting Angels ($4,000).[5]

Path to the ballot

Initiative 1029 was filed on July 3, 2008 by Linda S. Lee. Signatures were submitted to qualify it for the ballot. The measure was placed on the ballot as provided for by the state constitution.[6]

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References

  1. Office of the Secretary of State, "2008 Voters Pamphlet", accessed September 5, 2013
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named voterguide
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. KNDO-TV News, "Gregoire opposes Eyman initiative, Rossi for," October 9, 2008
  5. 5.0 5.1 Public Disclosure Commission database of contributions
  6. Washington Secretary of State, "Initiatives to the People", accessed September 5, 2013