Washington state passes LTC staff training initiative

A long-term care staff training initiative in Washington state passed last night with broad support, according to a report in The Seattle Times. Initiative 1163, supported by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), would require the state to increase funding to cover more comprehensive background checks in addition to expanded training and certification of LTC workers—from the currently required 34 hours of paid training to 75 hours.

The initiative will cost the state $18 million over the next two years—without a revenue source. Lawmakers are looking to cut up to $2 billion from the budget, which most likely will include further reductions in education funding.

Washington voters approved a similar measure to I-1163 in 2008 but enactment by the Legislature was delayed due to budget constraints. “Today, the voters have spoken again, making a strong statement that they expect quality care for our vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities to be a high priority,” said pro-1163 spokesman Sandeep Kaushik, in The Seattle Times.

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