We will join partners across the Northwest for Cascadia Rising, the largest earthquake exercise in state history
Staff at the Washington Youth Academy were honored recently in Olympia with the Extra Mile Award
Guard officer receives prestigious Seven Seals Award Award in recognition of his extraordinary support of those who serve.
In an effort to get ahead of the 2016 wildfire season, this week more than 250 Washington National Guard soldiers and airmen will receive red card certification testing at the Yakima Training Center. The training program is led by the Washington Department of Natural Resources
1st Lt. David A. Bauders died in a non-combat incident while serving with the 176th Engineer Company in Iraq
Members of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group were recently honored
Preparing for a cybersecurity threat shouldn't be relegated to the techies of the world, but also to emergency management professionals and, really, to the public at large
Trip Landon, 17, of Ellensburg, was recognized as the National Guard's 2016 Military Child of the Year
Vital Connections-Cascadia COMEX focused on June's Cascadia Subduction Zone exercise, but ended up with a natural opportunity for innovation
Legislation will provide National Guard with state benefits to bolster recruiting and retention efforts
Lone female competitor places in Best Warrior
The legislation helps ensure Guard soldiers and airmen returning from fighting wildfires, floods or some other kind of state emergency will be able to get back to their civilian jobs
Community, service members say farewell to historic Ephrata unit
Information sessions are designed to inform prospective students, parents, and educators about the opportunities available at the Washington Youth Academy.
Ron Averill helms from Lewis County, has been on council since 2010
A generous helping of food, including much needed cereal and pasta, was donated to the food bank at the Tillicum/American Lake Gardens Community Service Center.
Annual Hockey Match brings thrill and fun competition in the spirit of giving back.
Teacher at Washington Youth Academy wins national teacher of the year honors
Snohomish based company will conduct vertical construction missions to include new construction, remodels, tear-downs, and everything from painting to laying concrete to electrical work.
Bills under consideration by the Legislature help ensure soldiers and airmen returning from fighting wildfires, floods or some other kind of state emergency will be able to get back to their civilian jobs
Career Fair helps soldiers figure out future career options
Youth ChalleNGe program helping students succeed in school
More than 150 stakeholders gathered in Olympia on Jan. 8 in preparation for a four-day functional exercise practicing for a worst case earthquake scenario, which is a likely 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone and a big tsunami that follows.
Guard mourns the loss of a citizen-soldier, honors his sacrifice
During the election cycle all DoD personnel – military and civilian – should be aware of the various limitations that exist when it comes to participation in political activity.
The Washington Youth Academy celebrated the commencement of a record 152 cadets on Dec. 19 – more cadets than any previous class in the history of the Academy
EMD director was recently appointed as chairman of an earthquake subcommittee of the National Emergency Management Association
The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at a Phase III level at 08:30 a.m. today in response to severe weather conditions throughout Washington State
Record and major flooding is forecast for chunks of Western Washington this week and as the rain continues to saturate the earth, the landslide risk is higher than ever
Funds over the next two years to assist Guardsmen attaining higher education
The number of students attending college, and the number of students who need remedial courses, is crucial information for educators to have.
Work Force Development Center (WFDC) in Mukilteo has received a second safety and health award from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). This one is for the center's second worksite for aerospace assembly training.
In and effort to preserve and protect more than 500 miles of shoreline along rivers and lakes in Whitman County, several cities and towns joined the county to update their shoreline programs. Read more....
After incorporating feedback from business and environmental stakeholders, the Washington Department of Ecology has released an updated version of the state’s first-ever rule to cap carbon pollution. Read more....
The Washington Department of Ecology will conduct public hearings this Friday in Vancouver on two proposed new rules aimed at increasing the safety of transporting oil through the state by rail. Read more....
Federation Forest will reopen June 1, 2016.
OLYMPIA -- The State Department of Fish & Wildlife and tribal leaders today announced they’ve reached an agreement on a Puget Sound salmon fishery plan to be submitted for approval to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
At least 800 Washington victims scammed out of $500K
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a lawsuit against a Florida-based company and its owners, accusing them of charging students illegal fees for debt adjustment services, including assistance with consolidating federal student
loans. Borrowers can already consolidate their loans, and get other assistance, for free through the federal government.
As summer approaches, many teens are excited to have their first real jobs. Unfortunately, while working, some of them will be hurt — possibly seriously.
Effective immediately, parking for access to Wallace Falls State Park on Ley Road will no longer be available.
For the time period of July 14 to 21st, Everett Mountaineer volunteers will be performing maintenance on the lookout.
Complications left women permanently disabled, in chronic pain
A road construction project beginning in late June or early July 2016 will close all park roads into Mount Spokane State Park until a date to be determined in October, 2016. Park trails will be open for recreation during the closure.
Officials from six state governments were in Seattle last week to learn more about Gov. Jay Inslee’s initiative to use data and collaboration to make state government more effective.
During the last legislative session, Washington's Department of Health was charged with convening a task force on patient out-of-pocket costs. Senate Bill 6569 directed the task force to focus on two key areas: 1. Evaluating factors that contribute to out-of-pocket costs for patients and to the state. 2. Considering the health and economic impact of out-of-pocket patient costs to patients and to the state. If you have particular expertise in this area and represent patient groups, insurance companies, pharmacists, pharmacy benefit managers, unions, business associations, or biotechnology representatives please consider joining this important task force. Members of the task force will be asked to attend no more than four half-day, in-person meetings in the Puget Sound region between July 1 and Dec. 1, 2016. To be considered for the task force, please respond to DOH Secretary John Weisman's letter by COB May 24, 2016 via email to C4PA@doh.wa.gov
A Battle Ground siding company faces a substantial fine from the state after being cited for workplace safety violations involving fall hazards for the seventh time in four years.
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today released the following statement following Susannah Frame’s latest
KING 5 report on the hardships experienced by Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers:
“It was my honor to meet with Seth Ellingsworth, whose health problems arising from his Hanford work are profiled in Susannah’s story, earlier this month in the Tri-Cities.
Visitor Alert: Arbor crews will be working at the Columbia Hills Historical State Park and day use area at Horsethief Lake June 6-9. Visitors can expect bucket truck, chainsaw and chipper work during these times.
Helping artists who teach art is the subject of a national grant recently awarded to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Labor's federal standards for overtime.
In an effort to get ahead of the 2016 wildfire season, this week more than 250 Washington National Guard soldiers and airmen will receive red card certification testing at the Yakima Training Center. The training program is led by the Washington Department
of Natural Resources
Eastern Washington drivers are invited to compete June 4 in the regional qualifying forklift rodeo at the Spokane Central Service Center, 905 N Nelson St.
This is the fifth report issued by the Committee. Like the other four, this report contains very little substance.
OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee today released a statement on guidance from the Obama administration to ensure the civil rights of transgender students.
Beacon Rock Trail was closed due to extensive storm damage. Thanks to the hard work of the Beacon Rock staff the trail to the top of Beacon Rock will open on Saturday.
Join the King County Library System (KCLS) for a live telephone town hall meeting with specialists from the Social Security Administration and Washington Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA). This free event will take place on Wednesday, May 18 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Improper renovations put workers, neighbors at risk
SPOKANE – Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed criminal charges on Monday in Spokane Superior Court against three people and one company for multiple violations of clean air laws involving improper asbestos removal and disposal. Ferguson alleges
the defendants’ actions endangered the health of their neighbors and workers.
Offender’s stipulation precludes lengthy trial
EPHRATA — Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit today obtained a convicted sex offender’s agreement to be civilly committed as a sexually violent predator, shortly before the parties were to begin selecting a jury in Grant
County in a trial seeking to commit him involuntarily.
A baker and a technician have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars in disability benefits in unrelated fraud cases.
Venturing beyond designated viewing area trails at the park is risky. Warning signs have been posted at many locations advising people of the risk. Travel beyond these signs is on unmarked, potentially hazardous trails and users assume all risk.
OLYMPIA – In preparation for the 2016 wildfire season, Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday directed the Washington National Guard to train and certify up to 250 guard personnel.
No cases of West Nile virus yet this year in Washington horses, but spring is the best time to vaccinate your horse, according to WSDA State Veterinarian Dr. Joe Baker.
OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today on the death of Lt. David Bauders.
Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today on the ruling by the Ninth U.S.
As part of the new restroom being built in the day use area, utilities are being installed in the road running from the campground entrance to the boat launch area. The work is expected to take up to three weeks.
OLYMPIA— Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today regarding recent personnel actions by State Auditor Troy Kelley.
RICHLAND – Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) joined in Richland on Thursday to voice their concerns publicly over recent and repeated exposures of workers to tank vapors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
AG Ferguson and Sen. Wyden also met with affected Hanford workers Thursday afternoon.
The closure affects campsites 86 through 190, on the east side of Highway 105. Campsites 1 through 85 and 192 through 299 are open, as are the day-use area and beach access points.
Falls are the leading cause of workplace deaths and disabling injuries in Washington state each year. To help cut down on construction-related falls, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is teaming up with the federal Occupational
Safety and Health Administration to sponsor a "Safety Stand-Down" for the third year.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today issued the following statement regarding recent events at Hanford. He
filed a lawsuit in September 2015 regarding worker safety issues at Hanford
“The fact that workers continue to be exposed to harmful vapors is shameful. The events of the past several days are a disturbing illustration of why I filed a lawsuit against the federal government to protect Washingtonians who work at Hanford.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture concluded its gypsy moth treatments today, the last of 21 aerial operations in Western Washington that began on April 16.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) today announced the winners of the 43rd Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show.
Melanie Green of Evergreen (Clark County) School District was named the 2016 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced today.
Pharmaceutical company to pay $784.6 million to federal government, states
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the recovery of millions in overcharges to Washington by Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company owned by Pfizer, Inc. The agreement in principle resolves allegations the company knowingly underpaid rebates
owed to Medicaid. After accounting for the federal government’s Medicaid program share, Washington will receive $22.9 million.
Six firefighters, five loggers and nine construction workers are among those who died from work-related causes who will be remembered at this year's Worker Memorial Day ceremony in Tumwater.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture is hosting a three-part workshop series in the Yakima Valley to support farmers with strategies to meet demand for locally grown farm products.
The fifth annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees and District Sustainability Awardees were announced today by John King, U.S. Secretary of Education, along with Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on
To help the Legislature and Commission prepare for future industry changes and potential gambling policy changes, Spectrum Gaming Group has been chosen to lead Washington State’s first ever Economic Market Study on Gambling.
Opinion reverses 2013 Court of Appeals decision
OLYMPIA — At the urging of Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the Washington State Supreme Court today
reinstated the attempted murder conviction of a Pacific County man who shot a Washington State Patrol trooper in the head in February 2010.
A Kent woman whose construction business left an elderly couple with a ripped-up driveway and a half-dozen unfinished projects has been ordered to repay the homeowner more than $17,000.
WSDA and cooperating agencies will resume work in May to detect and eradicate pockets of spartina, an aggressive noxious weed. The work will be in 12 Western Washington counties through November.
A total of 258 schools earned Washington Achievement Awards for 2015.
State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced that seven schools will receive the state’s Innovative Schools designation for 2016
Insurance companies are not required to credit money consumers already paid in cost sharing from prior plans but sometimes they do for employer-sponsored replacement policies. If you lose employer-sponsored insurance in the middle of the year, and you've already met your deductible the year, you may want to consider COBRA for the rest of the calendar year and get an individual or family plan during open enrollment.
Workplace deaths in Washington declined to a near-historic low in 2015, according to a new Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) report.
Funds are now available for low-income students who are eligible for Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge Capstone program exams, the US Department of Education announced yesterday.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture`s annual report on misuse of pesticides and other regulatory and training issues are detailed in a 2015 Annual Report to the Legislature.
August trial to determine intent, penalties
OLYMPIA — A Thurston County Superior Court judge today postponed the trial to determine whether the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s violation of Washington campaign finance disclosure laws was intentional, and what penalties it should face, to August
15. The trial, which began this morning, was quickly rescheduled when the court addressed GMA’s untimely disclosure of evidence.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture will conduct the first of several treatments beginning next weekend to eradicate Asian and European gypsy moths in several counties.
OLYMPIA — A trial to determine whether the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s violation of Washington campaign finance disclosure laws was intentional, and what penalties it should face, will begin Monday in Thurston County Superior Court.
After finding that GMA did violate the law and granting summary judgment to the state in March, Judge Anne Hirsch noted there remained a factual dispute whether GMA’s violation of the law was intentional.
A woman whose son was murdered will be the featured speaker at a state Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) event — part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today released a report of the internal Attorney General’s Office review of the AGO’s role in the Department of Corrections sentencing errors disclosed late last year.
A copy of the report and the Attorney General’s cover letter are available on the AGO website.
Trial Lawyers Association failed to properly report $81,872 in contributions
OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office today announced that it has filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court alleging campaign finance violations by the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ). Specifically, the complaint alleges that
WSAJ failed to timely and properly file lobbyist employer reports of its contributions, as required under the state’s campaign finance laws.
Nearly 350 Washington students to share in $162,000 recovery
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced favorable resolutions for Washington consumers with six student loan debt adjustors that overcharged Washington state students and collected unlawful fees. Ferguson also obtained a default judgment
against a seventh student loan debt adjustor for the same type of unfair and deceptive actions.
Grant County Public Utility District #2 has been fined $35,000 for five serious safety violations following an explosion at its Priest Rapids Dam in Beverly, Wash. Six workers were hospitalized with very serious electrical burns from the incident last October.
OLYMPIA – April 6, 2016 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Federal Way on
OLYMPIA – April 6, 2016 – Business owners in Washington have many responsibilities, including knowing which taxes they must report. To help reach more businesses statewide, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) will host a free live webinar
for new and small business owners on April 20. In offering these live webinars, Revenue aims to make it easier for small businesses to participate.
WSDA is creating an industrial hemp research licensing program. The program will license researchers and certify industrial hemp seed.
Law promotes plan for non-dangerous drivers to escape cycle of debt
OLYMPIA — Late yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law agency-request legislation from Attorney General Bob Ferguson for a plan to tackle challenges posed by the significant number of driver’s license suspensions in Washington.
By the age of 25, only about half of young Americans have a meaningful postsecondary credential that enables them to compete for good jobs.
Protecting workers from falls and other construction-related hazards is the goal of the upcoming 9th Annual Construction Safety Day at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup.
In November I released my budget request for this legislative session. I noted at the time that the deadline for full funding of basic education was right around the corner.
Knowing which students are ready for career, college and life, and how well our schools are preparing all students, is an important part of our state’s accountability system.
Viking Cabinets Inc., of Spanaway, has been fined $107,000 for exposing workers to fire hazards from flammable liquids, chemical exposure and other workplace health risks at its cabinet manufacturing shop.
OLYMPIA – March 11, 2016 – Charges were filed today against a Pierce County contractor who allegedly stole more than $156,000 in retail sales taxes he collected from clients but never remitted to the state.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that insurance companies cover 100 percent of the cost of preventive colonoscopies for adults older than age 50. Of course you’ll need to see a provider who is part of your plan’s provider network. However, despite this new reform, we do hear consumers who’ve had a routine preventive colonoscopy only to have their insurer process their claim as “cost-shared diagnostic care,” which is subject to their annual deductible and coinsurance.We also sometimes hear from consumers who receive a substantial surgical bill when a polyp is discovered and removed during a preventive colonoscopy. The Affordable Care Act and other federal guidelines protect consumers from extra charges for polyp removal during a preventive colonoscopy. If you receive a bill for polyp removal, you should file a complaint with us and we’ll help you get those charges reversed. If you are diagnosed with colon cancer, any previous related symptoms may result in your provider processing the cancer screening as diagnostic and not preventive. In that case, your treatment would not be covered as preventive care and you’ll likely have additional costs. If you have any questions, check with your doctor. Be aware that if a procedure or treatment is not a recommended preventive service, it may be subject to your plan’s deductible and cost-sharing. Also, if a medical recommendation or guideline regarding a preventive service does not specify the frequency, method, treatment, or setting for that service, your insurer may limit your coverage. Here are some important tips to remember:
WSDA schedules workshops in Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap regions to support market opportunities for small farm operations.
A high school diploma is one way to know a student is ready for a career, college and life.
The Insurance Commissioner’s Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program is Washington state’s Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). A federally funded and volunteer-based program, SHIBA/SMP volunteers provide education on how to prevent, detect and report Medicare fraud.
A Spokane card dealer caught working at casinos while receiving disability benefits must repay the state more than $27,000.
This week is National Consumer Protection Week and the OIC is one of the many government agencies that helps protect consumers from financial harm.A huge part of the work we do is helping and educating consumers about all things insurance, from answering questions to looking into complaints against insurance companies, providing help with filing appeals for claim and coverage denials and everything in between.
This week is National Consumer Protection Week and the OIC is one of the many government agencies that helps protect consumers from financial harm.Consumer protection is part of our mission, which is reflected in the way we do business. Our consumer advocates can help:
If you missed open enrollment and didn't sign up for health insurance by Jan. 31, 2016, you may have to wait until next year's open enrollment period, unless you have a life event that makes you eligible for a special enrollment or you qualify for Apple Health (Medicaid).
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is hosting a one-day seminar on March 24 where employers can learn from companies from around the state that have been recognized for safety excellence.
Women in Agriculture Conference March 19 includes networking in Olympia at Natural Resources Building.
A total of five schools and one district will serve as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math mentors to other schools in the state.
WSDA and the USDA are now accepting comments on a proposed plan to eradicate introductions of gypsy moth at seven sites in Western Washington.
The state House and Senate released proposals this week for the supplementary budget that fall short of what Washington needs to fund basic education. Worse, they will not help us get to full funding by the 2018 deadline.
More Washington students are taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams with a score of 3 or higher, according to a report released today by the College Board.
The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and Harborview Medical Center today announced a new agreement to provide focused help for the most traumatic on-the-job amputations. The two organizations have worked together to create a new Center of Excellence
for medical care for amputees.
Thirty-four middle and high schools from all regions across Washington recently received the Career Guidance Award of Excellence from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for their exemplary career- and college-readiness programs.
One claimed she hurt herself chasing a shoplifter, and the other insisted her spa injury was so serious she couldn't work. Now the two women in these unrelated cases face felony theft charges alleging they stole workers' compensation benefits.
Do you have a great idea for improving workplace safety and health, like a new type of training or an innovative design for safer equipment? If so, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) wants to hear from you and may help fund your project.
OLYMPIA – Feb. 11, 2016 – Want to find out more about the state’s tax exemptions? Check out the Washington State Department of Revenue’s (Revenue)
2016 Exemptions Study, a compilation of tax exemptions, credits and preferential tax rates.
”Chronic absenteeism,” defined as missing 18 or more days of school during a school year, significantly affects student learning.
OLYMPIA – Feb. 11, 2016 – The Washington State Department of Revenue’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program is the winner of the 2016 Federation of Tax Administrators’ Award for Management and Organization.
The Career and College Readiness department at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) today announced the students selected as the Washington Scholars in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and the winners of the Washington CTE Student
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is seeking volunteers to evaluate grant proposals that will help decide which parks and trails should be funded and what wildlife habitat should be conserved in the state
We hear from many consumers who are trying to resolve their auto total loss claims with their own insurer or another insurer. A total loss is when a vehicle is in a collision and the insurance company determines it would cost more than the vehicle is worth to repair it, so they “total” it. Once an insurer declares a vehicle a total loss, they owe you the retail market value of your car, plus sales tax. But how do you know if the amount the insurer offers you is a reasonable estimate of the retail market value? Many consumers don’t know they have the right to, and should, ask the insurance company for a total loss valuation report, which shows the comparable auto data the insurer used to calculate your vehicle’s value. Most insurance companies don’t automatically provide the report to consumers and there’s no requirement that they provide it without being asked. Insurers can either give you cash for your vehicle’s retail value or offer to replace your vehicle with a comparable vehicle in your area. Read more about auto total loss on our website. Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.
OLYMPIA – Feb. 10, 2016 – The state’s taxable retail sales made in the third quarter of 2015 (July 1 – Sept. 30) reached $35.8 billion, a 7.8 percent increase over the same quarter in 2014. Figures for the retail trade industry, which is a subset of all
taxable retail sales made in the state, show a 5.8 percent increase over the same time period last year. The retail trade comprised $15.4 billion of the state’s total taxable retail sales.
OLYMPIA – Feb. 9, 2016 – Washington collects less in state and local taxes as a share of total personal income than 34 other states, according to new data released by the Washington State Department of Revenue.
Recently, a Washington consumer posted a story on Facebook about her brother, who was on the waiting list for a heart transplant but was being put on hold because of “paperwork” issues with the insurance company. She asked her Facebook friends to file a complaint with the Insurance Commissioner, resulting in more than 40 complaints to our office. One of our consumer advocates looked into the complaint and determined that the insurance provider was Apple Health, our state’s Medicaid program that is overseen by the Washington state Health Care Authority. In other words, we have no authority over the plan. But that didn’t deter our consumer advocate from trying to help. First, we reached out to the Facebook user and asked her to let people know that they should contact the Health Care Authority with complaints about Apple Health. Then our consumer advocates reached out to the Health Care Authority to make sure this complaint was received and addressed as a high priority. The next day, we got an email from the concerned sister that said, “Thank you so much for your response and directing my complaint to the proper department. Today (my brother) got his insurance straightened out and is back at A1 status. Thanks again!”We want people to be aware of this for two reasons: First, helping consumers access insurance is one of our missions, even if it’s not something we regulate. So even if you’re not sure if we can help you, reach out to us anyway. If we can’t help, chances are that we know someone who can. Second, social media is a powerful tool and is a way to quickly escalate a consumer problem. We have a robust social media presence, so don’t be afraid to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter. We will make sure to get you to the right person. Here’s how you can reach us:
OLYMPIA – Feb. 2, 2016 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in East Wenatchee
on Feb. 16.
Agriculture is an industry with many hazards, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. That's why training and injury prevention efforts are so important.
A growing concern for consumers and health insurers is the cost of prescription drugs and specifically, treatment for debilitating and life-threatening diseases. Hepatitis C is a good example. New drugs are now used to cure this life-threatening liver ailment with proven success. But the pills are costly, ranging from $55,000 to almost $95,000 per patient for a standard 12-week treatment period. Two nationwide organizations, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Disease Society of America, now recommend that most patients receive treatment even if they are in the early stage of the disease versus waiting until it has progressed. Last November, the federal government encouraged states to ensure that health coverage policies are “informed” by the treatment guidelines noted above. Unfortunately we do not have the authority to mandate that insurance companies abide by the guidelines. However, we do expect insurers to be current on all appropriate guidelines that best serve consumers. That is true for all types of treatments.We recently asked health insurers in Washington if they were aware of the new guidelines and if they were making any changes to how they were treating patients with this disease. The responses were varied, but there were common themes: • No company excludes treatment. • All allow testing to detect the disease. • All recommend that patients consult their doctors on the best course of action. What’s also evident is that insurers are trying to manage their claims costs. That’s not unexpected. Future prescription drugs for ailments such as multiple sclerosis and high cholesterol are expected to cost even more than the hepatitis C treatment. The emphasis for insurers, though, should be on ready access to appropriate treatment that leads to a healthier state and nation overall. If you believe you’ve not getting access to prescription drugs or other necessary treatment, we can help you understand your rights to appeal and even contact your insurer on your behalf.
Having a consistent and safe place to sleep at night is little more than a dream to many children.
An unregistered contractor who convinced an 87-year-old Shoreline woman to hire him nine times in one month must repay the victim more than $31,000.
Consumers frequently ask us this question. Your agent or insurer should be able to provide you with an explanation other than “there was a general rate increase.” We recommend that you obtain a policy-specific premium breakdown directly from your agent, and that you ask for a rate worksheet comparison between your old premium and your new premium.
The Roof Doctor Inc., of Olympia, has been fined $427,000 for exposing workers to fall hazards without adequate fall protection.
Staff from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) yesterday testified before the House Education Committee about House Bill 2556 (HB 2556), a bill the state superintendent requested, which streamlines high school graduation requirements
and saves the state nearly $15 million a year.
The numbers point to a looming crisis: Three-fourths of principals report that they recently taught classes themselves. Emergency substitute certificates have increased by 255 percent in the past three years.
Tribal and State negotiators have reached a tentative agreement with the Skokomish Indian Tribe on an amendment to their Class III Gaming Compact.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is seeking sponsors for the 2016 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
Our consumer advocates respond to thousands of inquiries from Washington consumers each year. Sometimes, we hear from people who are the subject of an insurance company fraud investigation.
Staff from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) testified yesterday on Senate Bill 6195 (SB 6195), known as the "plan to plan" bill, and SB 6183, which will delay a decrease, currently set for 2018, in the amount school districts can
raise in local levies.
A Colville painter facing criminal charges of unregistered contracting agreed this week to stop working illegally.
Phillips 66 Refinery has been fined $324,000 for failing to correct serious workplace safety and health violations. A Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) inspection of the Ferndale facility found the violations put refinery workers at great risk in case
of a fire or explosion.
Zodiac Cabin & Structures Support LLC has been fined $1,316,000 for workplace safety and health violations following an explosion at its carbon fiber production plant north of Spokane. Seventeen workers were injured in the oven explosion at the Newport,
Wash., facility last July.
To learn about Washington state tribes contributions of gaming dollars to communities, charities and other programs, join us January 15, 2016, at the Commission meeting in Olympia.
Join us at the January 15, 2016, Commission meeting in Olympia, to discover the backgrounds of our gambling special agents and learn about the important work agents do in the field.
Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, an AP government teacher at Lincoln High School and Washington’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year.
State Superintendent Randy Dorn today testified before the Senate Ways & Means Committee about Gov. Jay Inslee’s education budget proposal, which falls far short of what’s required to comply with the orders issued by the Supreme Court in McCleary v. Washington.
State Superintendent Randy Dorn and other special guests made a surprise appearance this morning in Bellevue at International School’s schoolwide assembly.
The Gambling Commission is now accepting bids from firms interested in conducting an ecomomic market study on gambling in Washington State.
Consumers have until Jan. 31 to sign up for a health plan for 2016 coverage. People who do not have a health plan for 2016 face a penalty on their taxes of 2.5 percent of their income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. Read more about the tax penalty.If you are still looking for a health plan, you check our state’s health insurance exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder to find out if you qualify for financial help, including tax credits that may lower the cost of coverage.
Consumers have until Dec. 23 to sign up for a health plan through Washington Health Benefit Exchange for coverage that begins on Jan. 1. The last day to get health insurance for 2016 is Jan. 31. People who do not have a health plan for 2016 face a penalty on their taxes of 2.5 percent of their income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. Read more about the tax penalty.
The State today begins accepting applications for the No Child Left Inside program, which is aimed at giving at-risk children outdoor experiences.
OLYMPIA – Dec. 11, 2015 – With state business tax filing deadlines coming soon, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) wants businesses impacted by the recent windstorms and flooding to know relief is available.
The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership today announced the award of $44.3 million in grants to organizations around the state for projects that will restore salmon habitat and conserve pristine areas, all targeted
at bringing salmon back from the brink of extinction.
If you can afford health insurance but you choose to not enroll in coverage for 2016, you may be required to pay a fee when you file your 2016 federal income taxes. The fee is also called a penalty, fine, or the individual mandate. A few facts about the individual mandate:
Recreational Gaming Association and Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling train thousands of RGA Members in Responsible & Problem Gambling Practices.
Health insurers are required to provide transparency tools via their websites starting Jan. 1, 2016, to consumers who are enrolled in their plans. The tools provide information about treatment costs, quality of care and other patients’ experience with the medical providers. These tools have not been readily available to consumers before now. The requirement is in the Affordable Care Act and is being implemented in Washington state now. Each insurer must provide written verification to the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner by Feb. 1 of each year that the company is in compliance with this state law, which was enacted by the 2014 Legislature. The OIC provides a form for health insurers to fill out and send to us, called an attestation. We are required to post the form 60 days before it's due. You can read more about the rules the OIC wrote to implement this requirement, which were recently adopted, or about the state law (RCW 48.43.007). The OIC also provided instructions and the attestation form for insurers to return to us by Feb. 1, 2016.
Are you traveling for the upcoming holiday? Here are some travel tips to help keep you safe and informed.Driving
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board today awarded nearly $7 million in grants to build and improve sports fields and facilities around the state.
Columbia United Providers (CUP) this week informed the Office of the Insurance Commissioner that it is voluntarily withdrawing from the individual health insurance market.The company, which is based in Vancouver, Wash., also said that it intends to sell its Medicaid business to Molina Healthcare. That proposal is subject to approval by the Insurance Commissioner. Here are answers to some questions about CUP’s announcement:Why did CUP voluntarily withdraw from Washington?
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner's rate decisions have saved auto insurance consumers nearly $26 million in premiums since 2010.Personal auto insurers are required to file their proposed rates and rating plans with our office whenever there's a rate change. Our actuaries review the proposed rates, rating plans, and supporting documentation to be sure that the rates are not excessive, inadequate or discriminatory. From 2010 through 2014, the rates we approved for the top 20 personal auto insurers in Washington saved consumers nearly $26 million in premiums.
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board will give the City of Bothell a Bravo Award on Tuesday for its outstanding project to conserve the North Creek Forest.
Join us Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Gambling Commission’s public meeting in Olympia for a staff presentation on Fantasy Sports.
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board will give the City of Wenatchee a Bravo Award on Thursday for its outstanding park project at Saddle Rock.
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board will give the Seattle-based Washington Trails Association a Bravo Award on Friday for three outstanding trail projects.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 15, 2015 – The owner of The Car Store, Inc. in Lynnwood was sentenced yesterday for stealing thousands of dollars in retail sales tax he collected but did not report to the state.
Representative Vick was recently appointed as an Ex Officio Member to the Gambling Commission by Governor Inslee. He replaces Representative Chandler who served as an Ex Officio Member for the past two years. Representative Vick was elected as Representative
to the 18th Legislative District in 2012 and was recently appointed to the Commerce and Gaming Committee.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 14, 2015 – Jobseekers can kick back with a cup of coffee and their computer and log on to the Dept. of Revenue’s virtual job fair, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. According to Revenue’s talent acquisition and retention manager
Betty Carter, “This is the first in a series of virtual career fairs that we will be sponsoring, and we expect this to be a major tool in meeting the future needs of jobseekers.”
OLYMPIA – Oct. 12, 2015 – One departure and one internal promotion mean two new faces are joining the Washington State Department of Revenue’s executive leadership team.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 7, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Vancouver on Oct.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 7, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Spokane on Oct.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 7, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Federal Way on
Oct. 21, 2015.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 6, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Port Angeles on
Oct. 20, 2015.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 6, 2015 – Business owners in Washington have many responsibilities, including knowing which taxes they must report. To help reach more businesses statewide, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) will host a free live webinar
for new and small business owners on Oct. 20. In offering these live webinars, Revenue aims to make it easier for small businesses to participate.
OLYMPIA – Oct. 1, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Bellevue on Oct.
TUMWATER — 30 de septiembre de 2015 — Después de un desastre natural, frecuentemente las víctimas enfrentan una segunda catástrofe cuando contratistas deshonestos intentan aprovecharse de ellos.
TUMWATER Oct. 1, 2015 — In the aftermath of disasters, victims too often face a second catastrophe as dishonest contractors descend upon them like locusts.
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is seeking volunteers to evaluate grant proposals that will help decide which parks and trails should be funded and what farmland and wildlife habitat should be conserved in the state.
OLYMPIA – Sept. 22, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Seattle on Oct.
OLYMPIA – Sept. 22, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Bellingham on
OLYMPIA – Sept. 18, 2015 – The city of Woodinville, the heart of Western Washington wine country, today joins 66 other cities in partnership with the state Business Licensing Service.
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office tomorrow will present Clallam County with its Bravo Award for its project to reconstruct the historic Spruce Railroad as a trail on the north shore of Lake Crescent.
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office has given its Bravo Award to the Nisqually Land Trust for its visionary project to protect the shoreline and salmon habitat on the Mashel River in Eatonville.
OLYMPIA – Sept. 10, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Tumwater on Thursday,
OLYMPIA – Sept. 2, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Vancouver on Sept.
OLYMPIA – Aug. 20, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Bremerton on Sept
OLYMPIA – Aug. 20, 2015 – Out-of-state companies could see some changes to their Washington state tax obligations due to new legislation taking effect Sept. 1, 2015.
OLYMPIA – Aug. 18, 2015 – With state business tax filing deadlines coming next week, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) wants businesses impacted by the wildfires to know relief is available.
OLYMPIA – Aug. 4, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Wenatchee on Aug.
OLYMPIA – Aug. 4, 2015 – Businesses with outstanding taxes will face heftier penalties as a result of recently approved legislation (Senate Bill 6183). The new law directs the Washington State Department of Revenue to increase the
delinquent penalties taxpayers face when they miss their tax return due date effective Aug. 1, 2015.
OLYMPIA – July 30, 2015 – Bellevue custom home builder Grey T. Lundberg was sentenced to one year in jail for not paying nearly $630,000 in sales tax he collected from customers.
Five pit pulls rescued from dog fighting operation in South Seattle, two suspects arrested.
Director Trujillo testifies at Congressional Hearing on Safeguarding the Integrity of Indian Gaming.
OLYMPIA – July 24, 2015 – Some seniors and disabled citizens will have an easier time qualifying for property tax relief starting with their 2016 tax bill.
OLYMPIA – July 23, 2015 – Misplaced your reseller permit? No worries. The Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) has simplified the process for businesses to view or print their reseller permit, which allows approved retailers and wholesalers
to purchase items for resale without paying sales tax.
OLYMPIA – July 16, 2015 – A Shelton man hires a contractor to build a deck and pays him cash. But a month later, the deck is only half-finished and the contractor is long gone.
OLYMPIA – July 14, 2015 – Many businesses may be holding onto unclaimed property and not even know it. The Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is conducting several workshops in Tacoma and Spokane this month to educate businesses on what property
may be reportable.
OLYMPIA – July 2, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Bellevue on July
OLYMPIA – July 2, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Vancouver on July
OLYMPIA – July 2, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Bellingham on July
Joins us this Thursday in Seattle to learn some basics on card cheating Gambling Special Agents encounter. This demonstration will briefly spotlight some of our work to stop cheating and keep gambling legal and honest. The demonstration will begin at 10:30
AM on July 9, 2015, at the Red Lion in Seattle.
OLYMPIA – July 1, 2015 – Several tax changes take effect July 1 now that Washington’s new state operating budget has been enacted.
OLYMPIA – June 30, 2015 – The Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) wants businesses impacted by the Sleepy Hollow wildfire to know tax relief is available. Revenue
will work with businesses that cannot file or pay their taxes on time due to the wildfire.
OLYMPIA – 30 de Junio, 2015 – Ahora con las fechas límites acercándose para presentar los impuestos, el Departamento de Recaudación de Impuestos desea informar a los negocios
afectados por los incendios forestales en el Este de Washington, que hay asistencia disponible.
Gambling Commission Special Agent in Charge (Agent) Rick Herrington was presented the “Excellence in Gaming Regulation” award by the North American Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA) at their annual conference.
OLYMPIA – June 17, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Seattle on July
OLYMPIA – June 10, 2015 – Business owners in Washington are responsible for knowing which taxes to report. To help them, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners in Tumwater on June
Responding to complaints of illegal card games, WSGC Special Agents, assisted by Tacoma Police Officers executed a search warrant at Billiards Hall, Yakima Avenue.