State Sen. Karen Keiser is headed to the Washington, D.C., for the
second time in a little over a month. This time she is adding her voice
to other state lawmakers calling for health care reform.
The Kent Democrat says she will is joining a group at the White House
Wednesday for a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius. Keiser also is attending a related press event with
Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa.
The state lawmakers want passage of health care reform by year's end, and they want a public-insurance option.
The $31.4 billion general operations budget approved by the legislature filleda $9 billion shortfall with federal stimulus money, one-time transfersand more than $4 billion in cuts to education, health and stateprograms. The budget includes many cuts to health care and educationand slashes $1028 billion from state employee salaries, healthbenefits, and other compensation, resulting in 7,000 to 8,000 lostgovernment and public school jobs.
In the final week of their legislative sessions, the Colorado and Indiana legislatures gave final approval to bills allowing residents to register to vote online. Colorado Senators passed HB 1160 and Indiana House Members passed HB 1346;
both bills allow residents with driver's licenses or state-issued ID
cards to register to vote online. The legislation has been sent to the
governor in both states. In Colorado the governor is expected to sign
the bill, while Indiana's governor has not indicated support or
With the passage of HB 1701 the Washington State legislature once again demonstrated its understandingthat when combating the digital divide states must not just addressaccess issues, but must also focus on dealing with the barriers to broadband adoption by individuals.
OLYMPIA - With Gov. Gregoire's signature, Washington State today became the fifth state in the nation to enact theNational Popular Vote bill, joining Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii andIllinois. The state's 11 electoral votes combine with 50 from the otherfour states to bring the total number of electoral votes to 61 — 22% ofthe 270 needed to implement a National Popular Vote. In addition totoday's victory, legislative chambers in Arkansas, Colorado, NewMexico, Oregon and Vermont have passed popular vote legislation so farthis year.
Following votes in the Washington House and Senate,
National Popular Vote now goes to the Governor Chris Gregoire. The Nevada Assembly on April 21st became the 27th state legislative chamber overall to approve NPV.
This week, the Washington State Senate's health committee approved a
bill to achieve health-care-for-all by 2012. Sponsored by committee
Chair Sen. Karen Keiser, SB 5945 as amended
combines immediate steps to expand access to coverage and cut
administrative costs with a planning process to refine proposals for
comprehensive reform by 2012. This action came as the Seattle City Council and Seattle Post-Intelligencerendorsed national single-payer health care, emphasizing the continuing efforts in states to move forward health care reform.