I-1163 Claims to Protect Vulnerable Citizens

Pierce County Prosecutor, Mark Lindquist, writes in today’s News Tribune in favor of I-1163. Lindquist explains that this initiative will require home care workers to pass a federal background check. These are the home care workers who provide identical care in nursing home facilities, but in a setting where they are not supervised closelyI-1163.jpg.

At present, the background checks are at the state level. But this means that such checks will not catch crimes committed outside the borders of Washington State. However, Lindquist does not mention that workers who have lived in the state less than three years are required to undergo an FBI fingerprint check by state law.

The measure also would require more than double the current number of hours of basic training — 75 hours instead of the current requirement of 35 hours. Workers would be paid wages for attending the training classes.

Opponents to the initiative, which had passed three years ago as I-1029, focus on the state’s budget shortfall. Gregoire, who opposes I-1163, explains that cuts will have to be made elsewhere if this measure passes. State analysts estimate that this measure would cost about $18 million over the next two years. Opponents most damning criticism of I-1163 is the fact that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a large proponent of I-1163, stands to benefit financially, as it would likely provide much of the instruction. The proposed new 75 hour training mandate would indeed provide a generous income source to SEIU.

Nonetheless, Cindi Laws, executive director of the Washington State Residential Care Council, explains that more training will not effectively prevent caregivers with nefarious intentions from taking advantage of seniors. She says that the state needs to do a better job of investigating places that have repeated and serious violations, and she wants regulators to take swifter action when there is a major problem.

Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/10/18/1869787/wa-voters-asked-again-to-boost.html#ixzz1bH2C0mFl

About Kevin
Kevin Coluccio was recently named one of the Top 10 Super Lawyers in Washington State. He has long history of successful elder abuse/neglect cases and has a stellar reputation for getting results for his injury clients in serious car crashes, pedestrian accidents, trucking accidents, maritime claims, and asbestos injury cases.