Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: I-1029 is expensive and ill-conceived

To the editor:

Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric of the sponsors of Initiative 1029, an initiative designed to dramatically increase training requirements for all home- and community-based caregivers.

Before signing on to this ill-conceived initiative, we all need to ask the tough question: Is this good public policy or simply an effort to thwart the legislative process?

With an initial cost to taxpayers of more than $74 million annually, this is an extremely costly proposition. Even more concerning is the fact that I-1029 will drive costs for people who pay for their own care. Finally, there is no conclusive evidence that the additional training is necessary.

Please note that the state’s Long Term Care Training Task Force and the Legislature did not support a 75-hour training requirement. They were concerned about additional taxpayer expense, they did not want to create barriers to employment and they understood that caregiver competence isn’t established through assigning arbitrary hours for training.

They were, however, prepared to pass a bill that would have increased basic training requirements to 35 hours with opportunities for additional training and a volunteer career ladder that included certification. The bill would have also expanded the current background check requirements and registration.

Despite strong legislative support for this measure, the bill died during the final hours of session because SEIU opposition prevented the bill from being voted on for final passage.

Rather than sign onto an expensive, ill-conceived initiative, I’d encourage you to say no. It’s the wrong public policy for all the wrong reasons.

Bridgette Stone

Administrator

Maple Ridge Assisted Living

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