House Bill 1087 – A new billion-dollar payroll tax
- This bill puts a 0.58 percent premium (tax) on employee paychecks to create the Long Term Services and Supports Trust Program where an individual that contributes into the fund for at least 500 hours per year for 3 of the last 6 years. The maximum benefit is $36,500 per person. The bill seeks to provide care for individuals who are in need of assistance with daily living, such as mobility and hygiene issues. This is for individuals who qualify for Medicaid and who are assessed by DSHS as needing assistance with at least three daily living needs. Once you hit the $36.5K mark, the benefits stop.
SB 5116 – Higher energy costs
- This “100 percent clean energy” bill will, by 2025, prohibit electrical utilities from using electricity from coal. By 2030, all utilities should be greenhouse-gas neutral. By 2045, all utilities must rely on 100-percent clean- and renewable-energy sources. It will most definitely raise costs of electricity for the consumer, as there are various fees on top of costs involved in the transition that will be imposed on the utilities. It also restricts growth of hydropower-generation stations, which is where a majority of our renewable energy comes from.
Senate Bill 5091 – Special-education funding (note: this bill has stalled in the House of Representatives)
- This bill would increase special-education spending and require training for staff that ensures more inclusion for special-education students. Special education is a basic-education program. This bill would support the inclusion of students with disabilities. Currently, 55 percent of students with disabilities in Washington are educated in a general-education classroom for the majority of the school day. For students of color, this number drops to 47 percent. The state needs to create more inclusive educational environments by providing additional support, such as professional development, or a tiered system.