Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this email finds you and your family well! We have completed week two of our 60-day session. On Wednesday, we had our first important floor debate on the long-term care insurance program and payroll tax. In this e-newsletter, I want to provide you with an update on where this controversial and unwanted program currently stands.
2022 House Republican priorities
The controversial long-term care insurance program and payroll tax
House Republicans have promised to bring real solutions to the people of Washington state. We are keeping that promise.
While the majority party continues passing tax increases and punitive policies that make daily life more expensive, House Republicans advocate for tax relief and policies to help alleviate financial burdens for struggling families, students, small business owners, and the most vulnerable. This includes repealing or replacing the unpopular, insolvent, and inadequate long-term care insurance program and payroll tax.
In 2019, House Bill 1087 was enacted. This bill is known as the Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program (LTSS), or the Washington Cares Fund, providing long-term services and support benefits to people who have paid into the program for a specific amount of time. As a provision of this bill, all employees in Washington state would pay 0.58 percent of their earnings to fund this program unless they've opted out.
A few of my significant concerns about this program include:
- It will reduce your paycheck for a benefit you may not be eligible to receive.
- The maximum benefit an individual will qualify for is only $36,500 for a lifetime. This is significantly lower than most private long-term care insurance policies and is not realistic for today's market.
- The state does not need to increase or create new taxes at this time, considering the record revenue we continue to collect.
Now, let's take a look at where we stand today. The long-term care insurance program and payroll tax has been paused for 18 months.
On Jan. 19, House Republicans ran two procedural motions on the House floor to relieve the House Appropriations Committee of House Bills 1594 and 1913 and bring them straight to the House floor. If these motions had been accepted, they would have made these Republican alternatives eligible for consideration by the House.
House Bill 1594 –which I co-sponsored – sought for a full repeal of the program and payroll tax. House Bill 1913 would have repealed and replaced the current program by making long-term care insurance affordable for those who want it but optional for those who don't, without imposing a payroll tax on anyone.
We believe our motion brought transparency to the process because we put on the record our alternatives and real solutions to fixing this disastrous mess were not being considered.
In the end, we voted on House Bill 1732. This bill will delay the long-term care insurance program and payroll tax by 18 months.
I believe there are better solutions than House Bill 1732. I did support this bill so the Legislature will have more time to unwind and improve this unwanted program.
Save the date | 8th District virtual town hall
I want to invite everyone to a virtual town hall my seatmates and I will be hosting. Please mark your calendar for Monday, Jan. 31, from 6-7:30 p.m. You will need to register to attend this event. You can do so by clicking here, on the photo above, or by visiting my website RepresentativeBradKlippert.com and clicking on the drop-down on my homepage. If you'd like to submit a question before the event, please email by Legislative Assistant, LJ Rohrer. I look forward to our conversation on Monday, Jan. 31.
Let your voice be heard | Take the survey
I want your thoughts on what you believe the Legislature's top priorities should be this session. You can provide your feedback in this short survey. Your voice, thoughts, and opinions are what drives the work I do on your behalf as your State Representative. Thank you for taking this survey.
Stay in touch!
I know all of us don't always agree on everything all the time, but please know, I still value hearing from you! I enjoy our respectful dialogues, even when we disagree on the issues. I'd like to hear your thoughts, concerns, and questions on the topics presented in this e-newsletter and other issues involving your state government. My contact information is below.
As always, thank you for the opportunity and the honor to serve you, your family, and our communities as your State Representative.
May God richly bless you all!