NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, January 26th, 2024

Initiative 2124 (sabotaging the Washington Cares Fund) gets certified

The sixth of six sub­mit­ted ini­tia­tives to the 2024 Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture spon­sored by Repub­li­can State Par­ty Chair Jim Walsh and fund­ed by right wing mul­ti­mil­lion­aire Bri­an Hey­wood was cer­ti­fied yes­ter­day evening, which means it is des­tined for the Novem­ber 2024 bal­lot for approval or rejec­tion by voters.

Ini­tia­tive 2124 has been mali­cious­ly engi­neered to cause the Wash­ing­ton Cares Fund to fail. That’s the sys­tem the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture set up a few years ago to address the long term care afford­abil­i­ty cri­sis. By mak­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Fund option­al, I‑2124 would leave the sys­tem with­out enough mon­ey to oper­ate, leav­ing most house­holds at the mer­cy of expen­sive big long-term care insur­ers which only the wealth­i­est can afford.

It’s been esti­mat­ed that the vast major­i­ty of us — 70% — will even­tu­al­ly need long-term care as we age. That includes help with meals, chores, and dai­ly tasks. Pas­sage of Ini­tia­tive 2124 would leave work­ing Wash­ing­to­ni­ans with­out access to an afford­able plan they can count on to pro­vide them with mon­ey to pay for long-term care, includ­ing in-home care, when they need it.

Accord­ing to the Sec­re­tary of State’s Elec­tions Divi­sion, 26,154 pages of sig­na­tures were received for I‑2081, con­tain­ing 427,481 lines.

324,516 valid sig­na­tures are cur­rent­ly required to qual­i­fy a statewide initiative.

Ini­tia­tive 2124 had a suf­fi­cient cush­ion of extra sig­na­tures to qual­i­fy for a ran­dom sam­ple check as allowed by state law, which con­sist­ed of 12,825 signatures.

Of those, 10,552 were accept­ed and 2,273 were reviewed. 2,259 sig­na­tures were deter­mined to be invalid, and four­teen were deter­mined to be duplicate.

Sec­re­tary Hobbs yes­ter­day trans­mit­ted a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion mes­sage to the Leg­is­la­ture affixed with the state seal, advis­ing of I‑2124’s qualification.

Leg­isla­tive staff have giv­en I‑2124 its own bill-style page on leg.wa.gov.

The bal­lot title for I‑2124 is as follows:

Ini­tia­tive Mea­sure No. 2124 con­cerns state long term care insurance.

This mea­sure would pro­vide that employ­ees and self-employed peo­ple must elect to keep cov­er­age under RCW 50B.04 and could opt-out any time. It would also repeal a law gov­ern­ing an exemp­tion for employees.

Should this mea­sure be enact­ed into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

The sum­ma­ry is as follows:

This mea­sure would amend state law estab­lish­ing a state long term care insur­ance pro­gram to pro­vide that employ­ees and self-employed peo­ple must elect to keep cov­er­age under RCW 50B.04, allow employ­ees to opt-out of cov­er­age under RCW 50B.04 at any time, and repeal a cur­rent law gov­ern­ing exemp­tions for employ­ees who had pur­chased long term care insur­ance before Novem­ber 1, 2021.

Leg­is­la­tors have three choic­es as to how to respond to I‑2124:

  • Do noth­ing, in which case it goes to voters
  • Adopt the mea­sure into law
  • Send it to the Novem­ber 2024 bal­lot with an alternative

NPI oppos­es Ini­tia­tive 2124 and is work­ing for the mea­sure’s defeat. Because the chances of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture approv­ing I‑2124 are pret­ty much nonex­is­tent, it will be get­ting for­ward­ed auto­mat­i­cal­ly to the bal­lot, as men­tioned above. NPI’s Stop Greed project is urg­ing a no vote on I‑2124; if you’d like to sup­port this effort, you can donate to Stop Greed here using Act­Blue.

We also invite you to join us in vot­ing NO on I‑2124 lat­er this year.

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