The State Health Benefit Exchange Board met in SeaTac on Wednesday and reluctantly voted to only offer small business group health insurance plans in two or three counties for its first year. There will still be a large number of small business plans statewide offered outside the Exchange. None of this impacts the individual health insurance market where there will be a robust number of plans available both inside and outside the exchange.
The 9th Order
With these words Governor Jay Inslee opened the first meeting of the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup, a new committee created by SB 5802 — gubernatorial request legislation that passed the Legislature in March. The Governor quoted from the legislation, “The purpose of the work group is to recommend a state program of actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, that if implemented would ensure achievement of the state’s emissions targets.”
Unemployed workers are eligible for up to 26 weeks of Regular unemployment insurance benefits and 37 weeks of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). But beginning on May 26, because of the federal budget cuts know as Sequestration, claimants will see their EUC benefits cut by 21.08% as they begin EUC or complete their current tier of benefits (the 37 weeks of EUC are divided in to three tiers).
On Monday, April 22, the State Auditor’s Office released their weekly batch of audits. The City of Granger was singled out for the Auditor’s highest level of deficiencies, a material weakness. “Our audit identified material weaknesses in controls that could adversely affect the City’s ability to produce reliable financial statements.”
Former State Rep. Tom Huff, R-Gig Harbor, died Sunday morning from advanced pulmonary fibrosis. A former House Appropriations Committee chairman, Huff most recently was in the spotlight when he served with former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton as a Republican commissioner on the Washington State Redistricting Commission.
On Friday the Washington Business Alliance Strategic Planning Committee met in Seattle to lay the foundation for a new approach at creating a strategic plan for Washington State. The goal is straight forward, make Washington “a top five performing state based upon national metrics of economy, society, environment, and public sector management by 2025.”
It’s too early to draw any conclusions about our new State Auditor, Troy Kelley, but audits released in the last week point to a continuation of his predecessor’s aggressive pursuit of government transparency and accountability. The State Auditor’s Office released 46 new audits and found significant shortcomings in 7 of them. They highlighted the City of Montesano audit.