WA State Emergency Management Department

Cascadia Rising showcases preparedness skills

Tue, 31 May 2016 12:34:55 -0700

We will join partners across the Northwest for Cascadia Rising, the largest earthquake exercise in state history

Youth Academy honored with 'Extra Mile' award

Tue, 24 May 2016 15:59:40 -0700

Staff at the Washington Youth Academy were honored recently in Olympia with the Extra Mile Award

Deputy Legal Counsel for the Washington National Guard Honored by Department of Defense with prestigious Seven Seals Awards

Thu, 19 May 2016 07:31:00 -0700

Guard officer receives prestigious Seven Seals Award Award in recognition of his extraordinary support of those who serve.

Washington National Guard to conduct firefighter training on YTC

Tue, 17 May 2016 17:40:38 -0700

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

Guard soldier dies in non-combat incident in Iraq

Mon, 09 May 2016 13:16:49 -0700

1st Lt. David A. Bauders died in a non-combat incident while serving with the 176th Engineer Company in Iraq

Special Forces soldiers who 'get the job done' recognized with valor awards

Fri, 06 May 2016 08:32:57 -0700

Members of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group were recently honored

Public, private partnerships key in cybersecurity safety

Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:48:32 -0700

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

National Guard Child of Year says father is role model

Tue, 19 Apr 2016 09:37:39 -0700

Trip Landon, 17, of Ellensburg, was recognized as the National Guard's 2016 Military Child of the Year

Innovation and collaboration abound in Camp Murray COMEX

Wed, 06 Apr 2016 08:58:43 -0700

Vital Connections-Cascadia COMEX focused on June's Cascadia Subduction Zone exercise, but ended up with a natural opportunity for innovation

Legislation passes to provide Guardsmen with hunting licenses

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 07:55:40 -0700

Legislation will provide National Guard with state benefits to bolster recruiting and retention efforts

Women's History Month Spotlight: Spc. Julie E. Keppner

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 07:30:28 -0700

Lone female competitor places in Best Warrior

Governor signs National Guard employment rights bill into law

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 10:47:10 -0800

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

A tradition of service on display as the 1161st Transportation Company deactivates

Wed, 09 Mar 2016 14:32:43 -0800

Community, service members say farewell to historic Ephrata unit

WYA hosts information sessions

Tue, 08 Mar 2016 06:39:46 -0800

Information sessions are designed to inform prospective students, parents, and educators about the opportunities available at the Washington Youth Academy.

New chairman of state Emergency Management Council elected

Fri, 04 Mar 2016 13:32:53 -0800

Ron Averill helms from Lewis County, has been on council since 2010

Military Dept. donates food to local food bank

Fri, 04 Mar 2016 06:47:13 -0800

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.

Nail-biting game for Guardsmen at the 22nd annual Canuck USA Hockey Classic

Wed, 24 Feb 2016 09:05:40 -0800

Annual Hockey Match brings thrill and fun competition in the spirit of giving back.

WYA teacher named national teacher of year

Wed, 17 Feb 2016 09:25:08 -0800

Teacher at Washington Youth Academy wins national teacher of the year honors

Washington National Guard Engineer Company set to deploy to Kuwait

Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:16:26 -0800

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.

Legislation helps Guard retain civilian jobs while on state service

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 08:52:14 -0800

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

New beginnings for Washington Guardsmen

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 17:12:49 -0800

Career Fair helps soldiers figure out future career options

ChalleNGe Academy helps students back on the road to success

Thu, 14 Jan 2016 10:11:01 -0800

Youth ChalleNGe program helping students succeed in school

Stakeholders gather for earthquake preparedness

Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:20:06 -0800

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.

Washington National Guard Mourns the Loss of a Citizen Soldier

Wed, 06 Jan 2016 08:14:45 -0800

Guard mourns the loss of a citizen-soldier, honors his sacrifice

Dept. of Def. 2016 Election Year Guidance

Fri, 01 Jan 2016 10:53:10 -0800

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.

Record number graduates from Washington Youth Academy

Tue, 29 Dec 2015 14:01:48 -0800

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

Wash EMD director boosting the national conversation on earthquake preparedness

Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:14:29 -0800

EMD director was recently appointed as chairman of an earthquake subcommittee of the National Emergency Management Association

State EOC activated due to hazardous weather throughout Washington

Wed, 09 Dec 2015 10:34:31 -0800

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

What to know before the next flood, landslide

Tue, 08 Dec 2015 10:49:32 -0800

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

WMD to reinstitute the Conditional Scholarship Program

Fri, 04 Dec 2015 10:18:23 -0800

Funds over the next two years to assist Guardsmen attaining higher education

WA InciWeb - Fires

Current Watches, Warnings and Advisories for Washington Issued by the National Weather Service

WA State News

OSPI Releases Data on College Enrollment and Remediation

Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:00:00 -0700

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 earns second safety excellence award from L&I

Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:27:00 -0700

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.

Halibut fishing re-opens June 11 in Marine Areas 3, 4; Marine Area 1 all-depth fishery to close June 4

Thu, 02 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700

Protecting 500 miles of shoreline in Whitman County

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 13:30:00 -0700

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....

Ecology releases updated rule to cap carbon pollution

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 08:30:00 -0700

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....

Amend recreational fishing rules for Kids Fishing event at Gene Coulon Park, Lake Washington

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700

Amend recreational fishing rules for Kids Fishing event at Tracy Owen Station at Log Boom Park, Lake Washington

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700

Oil transportation safety rules ready for public review

Tue, 31 May 2016 16:20:00 -0700

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.

Tue, 31 May 2016 14:12:16 -0700

Federation Forest will reopen June 1, 2016.

Cascadia Rising showcases preparedness skills

Tue, 31 May 2016 12:34:55 -0700

We will join partners across the Northwest for Cascadia Rising, the largest earthquake exercise in state history

Daily limit increase in Marine Areas 6 and 7 West; non-spot shrimp fishing reopening in several areas of Puget Sound

Tue, 31 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

Five areas of Puget Sound opening for recreational crabbing in June

Tue, 31 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

Inslee statement regarding announced agreement between state and tribal salmon fisheries

Thu, 26 May 2016 15:43:42 -0700

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.

AG cracks down on Student Aid Center over illegal fees

Thu, 26 May 2016 15:18:58 -0700

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.

Summer job season approaching -- teens more likely than adults to get hurt at work

Wed, 25 May 2016 15:58:00 -0700

As summer approaches, many teens are excited to have their first real jobs. Unfortunately, while working, some of them will be hurt — possibly seriously.

Ley Road Parking Not Available

Wed, 25 May 2016 10:46:32 -0700

Effective immediately, parking for access to Wallace Falls State Park on Ley Road will no longer be available.

Columbia River spring chinook sport fishery reopens

Wed, 25 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

Sport sturgeon retention closes in John Day Pool

Wed, 25 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

Snake River spring chinook fisheries to close

Wed, 25 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

Mt Pilchuck Fire lookout maintenance July 14th through July 21st 2016

Tue, 24 May 2016 17:43:45 -0700

For the time period of July 14 to 21st, Everett Mountaineer volunteers will be performing maintenance on the lookout.

Youth Academy honored with 'Extra Mile' award

Tue, 24 May 2016 15:59:40 -0700

Staff at the Washington Youth Academy were honored recently in Olympia with the Extra Mile Award

AG files major lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over concealed risks of pelvic mesh

Tue, 24 May 2016 11:10:01 -0700

Complications left women permanently disabled, in chronic pain

Road construction to close park roads in late June 2016

Mon, 23 May 2016 14:34:07 -0700

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.

Inslee's better government initiative draws national interest

Mon, 23 May 2016 08:38:35 -0700

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.

Tags: 

  • Results WA
  • Department of Health looking for experts on patient out-of-pocket costs

    Fri, 20 May 2016 16:29:39 -0700

    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

    Battle Ground siding company cited seventh time for safety violations

    Fri, 20 May 2016 14:03:00 -0700

    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.

    AG Ferguson: How many sick Hanford workers will it take?

    Fri, 20 May 2016 11:42:27 -0700

    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. 

    Arbor crews work in campground and day use area June 6-9, 2016 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Thu, 19 May 2016 17:16:20 -0700

    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.

    OSPI Receives $30,000 to Improve Arts Education

    Thu, 19 May 2016 13:00:00 -0700

    Helping artists who teach art is the subject of a national grant recently awarded to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

    Deputy Legal Counsel for the Washington National Guard Honored by Department of Defense with prestigious Seven Seals Awards

    Thu, 19 May 2016 07:31:00 -0700

    Guard officer receives prestigious Seven Seals Award Award in recognition of his extraordinary support of those who serve.

    South Pond at Bogachiel Hatchery to open for trout fishing

    Wed, 18 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Halibut fishing re-opens in Marine Areas 3 and 4 on May 28; Westport northern nearshore area will close on May 21

    Wed, 18 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Inslee statement in response to the U.S. Department of Labor's federal standards for overtime

    Tue, 17 May 2016 20:43:08 -0700

    OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Labor's federal standards for overtime. 

    Washington National Guard to conduct firefighter training on YTC

    Tue, 17 May 2016 17:40:38 -0700

    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

    Inslee issues executive order to state agencies to evaluate risk management, commit to loss prevention

    Tue, 17 May 2016 15:55:52 -0700

    Gov.

    Tags: 

  • Executive Order
  • Forklift rodeos seeking skilled competitors for regional events

    Tue, 17 May 2016 10:06:00 -0700

    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.

    Dorn: Court Must Impose Tough Sanctions on State

    Mon, 16 May 2016 15:45:00 -0700

    This is the fifth report issued by the Committee. Like the other four, this report contains very little substance.

    Inslee statement on guidance from the Obama administration to ensure the civil rights of transgender students

    Fri, 13 May 2016 14:29:43 -0700

    OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee today released a statement on guidance from the Obama administration to ensure the civil rights of transgender students.

    Tags: 

  • Education
  • K-12 Education
  • Beacon Rock Trail to re-open Saturday May 14, 2016

    Fri, 13 May 2016 10:57:50 -0700

    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 telephone town hall to get answers to your questions about Social Security, Medicare

    Fri, 13 May 2016 07:59:42 -0700

    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. 


    Topics will include how to make the most of your Social Security benefits, health insurance and Medicare coverage. 

    A telephone town hall is like a radio talk show, but you simply listen on your phone! Experts will take live questions from the audience. 

    On the day of the telephone town hall you will receive a telephone call from the library between 10:25 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. Please answer the call and stay on the line, as it could take a few minutes before the call starts. You will hear some introductory remarks and then be connected.

    Be sure to include your telephone number in the registration to receive a phone call! 

    Brought to you by the Social Security Administration, Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the KCLS Foundation and AARP.

    Register here for the telephone town hall. 

    Lake Sylvia to close for kids-only fishing event

    Fri, 13 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    All-depth halibut fishing to close in Marine Area 2

    Thu, 12 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    AG files criminal charges against hotel owner over asbestos removal

    Wed, 11 May 2016 10:19:23 -0700

    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.

    Icicle River opens for hatchery chinook fishing

    Wed, 11 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    AG prosecutors obtain sex offender's civil commitment

    Tue, 10 May 2016 16:57:07 -0700

    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. 

    Baker, technician charged in separate King County workers' comp scams

    Tue, 10 May 2016 16:45:00 -0700

    A baker and a technician have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars in disability benefits in unrelated fraud cases.

    Palouse Falls trail warning

    Tue, 10 May 2016 11:09:14 -0700

    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.

    Hatchery spring chinook daily limit increased at Drano Lake

    Tue, 10 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Inslee orders wildfire training for up to 250 Washington National Guard personnel

    Mon, 09 May 2016 15:21:30 -0700

    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.

    Tags: 

  • Wildfires
  • Guard soldier dies in non-combat incident in Iraq

    Mon, 09 May 2016 13:16:49 -0700

    1st Lt. David A. Bauders died in a non-combat incident while serving with the 176th Engineer Company in Iraq

    Horse owners advised to vaccinate for West Nile virus

    Mon, 09 May 2016 09:12:00 -0700

    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.

    Inslee statement on death of Lt. David Bauders

    Mon, 09 May 2016 08:53:31 -0700

    OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today on the death of Lt. David Bauders.

    Tags: 

  • Veterans
  • Inslee statement on ruling in Trueblood case

    Fri, 06 May 2016 16:04:22 -0700

    Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today on the ruling by the Ninth U.S.

    Tags: 

  • Human Services
  • Night-time Road Construction Work 5/6 - 5/27

    Fri, 06 May 2016 13:42:14 -0700

    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.

    Inslee statement regarding recent personnel actions by State Auditor Troy Kelley

    Fri, 06 May 2016 12:47:41 -0700

    OLYMPIA— Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today regarding recent personnel actions by State Auditor Troy Kelley.

    Special Forces soldiers who 'get the job done' recognized with valor awards

    Fri, 06 May 2016 08:32:57 -0700

    Members of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group were recently honored

    AG Ferguson, Sen. Wyden express concern about recent Hanford worker exposures

    Thu, 05 May 2016 16:27:39 -0700

    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.

    Additional Puget Sound-area freshwater fisheries closed

    Thu, 05 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Campsites 86 thru 190 Closed - Click here for more Info

    Wed, 04 May 2016 17:12:03 -0700

    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.

    Inslee statement on REC Silicon announcement to restart production at Moses Lake

    Wed, 04 May 2016 14:32:38 -0700

    OLYMPIA— Gov.

    Tags: 

  • Economy
  • Information & Communication Technology
  • Trade
  • Preventing deadly falls the focus of construction 'Safety Stand-Down'

    Wed, 04 May 2016 11:34:00 -0700

    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.

    Many Puget Sound-area freshwater fisheries closed May 1

    Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Statement from AG Ferguson regarding reported exposures to Hanford tank vapors

    Tue, 03 May 2016 17:17:53 -0700

    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.

    Need help with Medicare? Events being held around the state through summer

    Tue, 03 May 2016 12:18:59 -0700

    Consumers get help at a SHIBA event in Washington state
    The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has a program that helps Washingtonians sign up for Medicare and other health care programs. It's called Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) and it offers free, unbiased and confidential assistance with Medicare and other health care choices.

    SHIBA can help you:
    • Understand your health care coverage options and rights.
    • Determine your general eligibility for health care coverage programs.
    • Evaluate and compare health insurance plans.
    SHIBA holds events around the state to help people who are just getting signed up for Medicare--called birthday events--and information sessions for people who are new to Medicare or simply have questions about it.

    Upcoming events:
    • May 5: Lacey Community Center 
    • June 18: Shoreline Conference Center
    • June 23: Community Cultural Center of Tonasket 
    • June 24: Grand Coulee Senior Center 
    • July 9: Seattle Central Library
    • Aug. 6: Kent Senior Activity Center
    Find out more about these events and other events on the SHIBA calendar

    Read more about SHIBA and how it can help you. Do you have Medicare questions? Call 1-800-562-6900.

    Gypsy moth treatments wrap up across Western Washington

    Tue, 03 May 2016 09:50:00 -0700

    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.

    Washington State High School Artists Honored

    Mon, 02 May 2016 11:00:00 -0700

    The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) today announced the winners of the 43rd Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show.

    Puget Sound marine salmon and steelhead fisheries close

    Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Public, private partnerships key in cybersecurity safety

    Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:48:32 -0700

    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

    Evergreen Educator Named School Employee of the Year

    Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:00:00 -0700

    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.

    AG recovers record $46.7 million for the state Medicaid program from pharma co. Wyeth's underpayments

    Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:09:20 -0700

    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.

    Sport sturgeon retention season closes in the Dalles Pool

    Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Heart Lake fishing closure for Kids Fishing event

    Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    State to honor fallen workers during April 28 ceremony at L&I

    Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:23:00 -0700

    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.

    Workshops prep Yakima Valley farmers to explore and expand local market opportunities

    Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:20:00 -0700

    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.

    Gov. Inslee honors Cowlitz County SHIBA volunteer

    Fri, 22 Apr 2016 14:47:50 -0700

    From right: SHIBA Volunteer Coordinator Terri Osbourne,
    volunteer Elouise Maahs and volunteer coordinator Sarah Clark
    Congratulations to SHIBA Volunteer Elouise Maahs for receiving the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award in the health care category.

    Elouise, who volunteers for SHIBA with Lower Columbia Community Action Council in Cowlitz County, was honored on April 11 at the Governor’s mansion, where she receive her award from Gov. Jay Inslee. A SHIBA volunteer since 2008, Elouise serves as a data specialist, where she records and processes client cases. In the past year she’s processed over 6,000 client cases. Eloise was nominated for her dedication and commitment to ensuring that seniors and people disabilities have their Medicare issues, complaints and appeals processed in a timely manner.

    In addition to meeting the Governor on April 11, Eloise also stopped by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner/SHIBA and had the opportunity to receive congratulations personally from Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

    Read more about SHIBA, which provides free, unbiased, and confidential assistance with Medicare and health care choices.

    2016 Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees Announced

    Fri, 22 Apr 2016 11:00:00 -0700

    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 Environmental Quality.

    Economic Market Study on Gambling Underway in Washington State!

    Thu, 21 Apr 2016 16:15:00 -0700

    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.

    Attorney General's Office prevails in Supreme Court, reinstates conviction of man who shot state trooper in head

    Thu, 21 Apr 2016 13:49:08 -0700

    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.

    Unregistered contractor in Kent must repay $17,000-plus to elderly victim

    Wed, 20 Apr 2016 14:16:00 -0700

    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.

    National Guard Child of Year says father is role model

    Tue, 19 Apr 2016 09:37:39 -0700

    Trip Landon, 17, of Ellensburg, was recognized as the National Guard's 2016 Military Child of the Year

    Season to treat invasive spartina starts in May

    Tue, 19 Apr 2016 08:41:00 -0700

    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.

    Trout minimum size limit change on Baker Lake

    Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    258 Schools Win State's Highest Honor

    Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:00:00 -0700

    A total of 258 schools earned Washington Achievement Awards for 2015.

    State Superintendent Announces Winners of State's Innovative Designation

    Fri, 15 Apr 2016 15:00:00 -0700

    State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced that seven schools will receive the state’s Innovative Schools designation for 2016

    If I switch health plans halfway through the year, can my deductible be transferred or prorated?

    Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:47:35 -0700

    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.


    If COBRA is not an option, you likely will be responsible for a new, full deductible. Generally, health insurance deductibles are not prorated for partial-year enrollees, no matter how few months are left in the plan year. Individual or family qualified health plans run from January through December. There is no way to recoup the additional money you may spend towards your health insurance deductible when you switch plans mid-year after paying the first plan’s deductible. However, sometimes medical and dental expenses like deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance can be deducted from your federal taxes, which will lower the taxes you pay that year.

    When you choose a health insurance plan, it will be important to understand what your insurance company covers without requiring you to pay your deductible. Then you can decide whether you want a plan with lower monthly premiums and higher deductible or one with a higher monthly premium and a lower deductible. Many health plans cover some services such as emergency room or routine doctor visits such as preventive care without requiring you to pay toward your deductible. 

    Deductible amounts vary by plan and can be separated into individual or family deductibles. Some health plans also cover other benefits like doctor visits and prescription drugs even if you haven’t met your deductible. 

    Your best course of action is to read your policy and contact the insurance company to find out more about the health plan’s benefits. 

    If you have questions about your plan or your rights as a consumer, you can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

    Chehalis River spring chinook fishery opens April 16

    Fri, 15 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Workplace deaths fall to near-historic low in 2015

    Thu, 14 Apr 2016 12:44:00 -0700

    Workplace deaths in Washington declined to a near-historic low in 2015, according to a new Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) report.

    Lower Yakima River to open for spring chinook fishing

    Thu, 14 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Low-Income Students Receive AP Test Fee Reduction

    Wed, 13 Apr 2016 10:00:00 -0700

    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.

    Agriculture department releases annual pesticide report

    Tue, 12 Apr 2016 10:37:00 -0700

    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.

    Bonneville Pool will open two days to white sturgeon retention

    Tue, 12 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Judge postpones trial in light of GMA's late disclosure of evidence

    Mon, 11 Apr 2016 14:39:18 -0700

    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.

    State gypsy moth treatments to begin in Western Washington

    Fri, 08 Apr 2016 15:15:00 -0700

    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.

    "GMO labeling" trial starts Monday to determine intent, penalties

    Fri, 08 Apr 2016 13:23:31 -0700

    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.

    Help for crime victims is highlighted in April 12 event at L&I headquarters

    Thu, 07 Apr 2016 16:34:00 -0700

    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.

    AG releases internal report on Corrections sentencing errors

    Thu, 07 Apr 2016 15:08:08 -0700

    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.

    -30-

    AG files campaign finance complaint against Washington Association for Justice

    Thu, 07 Apr 2016 14:47:31 -0700

    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.

    AG sweep halts illegal actions by student loan adjustors, secures full restitution

    Thu, 07 Apr 2016 10:14:21 -0700

    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.

    Small sanctuary created around the fish release site on the upper Cowlitz River

    Thu, 07 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    L&I fines Grant County P.U.D. for safety violations connected with electrical explosion

    Wed, 06 Apr 2016 15:47:00 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers free tax workshop April 20 in Federal Way

    Wed, 06 Apr 2016 13:57:00 -0700

    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 April 20.

    Revenue offers free webinar about taxes for businesses April 20

    Wed, 06 Apr 2016 13:55:42 -0700

    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.

    Innovation and collaboration abound in Camp Murray COMEX

    Wed, 06 Apr 2016 08:58:43 -0700

    Vital Connections-Cascadia COMEX focused on June's Cascadia Subduction Zone exercise, but ended up with a natural opportunity for innovation

    Frank's Pond open to fishing for juvenile anglers only

    Wed, 06 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Industrial hemp bill starts process of creating state program

    Tue, 05 Apr 2016 10:39:00 -0700

    WSDA is creating an industrial hemp research licensing program. The program will license researchers and certify industrial hemp seed.

    AG-request bill aimed at reforming traffic fine collection signed by Governor

    Mon, 04 Apr 2016 08:51:57 -0700

    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.

    Washington Secures Grant to Improve Career Prep

    Fri, 01 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0700

    By the age of 25, only about half of young Americans have a meaningful postsecondary credential that enables them to compete for good jobs.

    Construction safety the focus of May 4 event in Puyallup

    Thu, 31 Mar 2016 15:51:00 -0700

    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.

    Legislation passes to provide Guardsmen with hunting licenses

    Thu, 31 Mar 2016 07:55:40 -0700

    Legislation will provide National Guard with state benefits to bolster recruiting and retention efforts

    Dorn: Budget 'Puts Students on Hold This Year'

    Tue, 29 Mar 2016 16:30:00 -0700

    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.

    State Testing, a Key Measure of Student Progress, Now Underway

    Thu, 24 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0700

    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.

    Women's History Month Spotlight: Spc. Julie E. Keppner

    Thu, 17 Mar 2016 07:30:28 -0700

    Lone female competitor places in Best Warrior

    Sport clam seasons on public tidelands

    Thu, 17 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Sport oyster seasons on public tidelands

    Thu, 17 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700

    Spanaway cabinet manufacturer fined more than $100,000 for worker health violations

    Mon, 14 Mar 2016 16:01:00 -0700

    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.

    Pierce Co. contractor charged with stealing $156,000 in taxes

    Fri, 11 Mar 2016 18:46:14 -0800

    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.

    Most colonoscopies should be covered 100% by your insurance

    Fri, 11 Mar 2016 15:48:34 -0800

    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:

    Governor signs National Guard employment rights bill into law

    Fri, 11 Mar 2016 10:47:10 -0800

    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

    Olympic and Kitsap workshops prep farmers to explore and expand market opportunities

    Fri, 11 Mar 2016 08:38:00 -0800

    WSDA schedules workshops in Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap regions to support market opportunities for small farm operations.

    OSPI Releases Data to Help Improve Graduation Rates

    Thu, 10 Mar 2016 12:00:00 -0800

    A high school diploma is one way to know a student is ready for a career, college and life.

    Protect yourself from Medicare fraud

    Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:57:39 -0800

    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.


    Medicare is the national health care plan for all U.S. citizens age 65 and older. It also covers people younger than age 65 who receive Social Security Disability Income and people who are diagnosed with certain medical conditions.

    In Washington state, SHIBA/SMP volunteers help protect seniors and fight health care fraud, leaving more money in the system for everyone. Our state’s volunteers educate beneficiaries on how to avoid becoming victims of health care fraud, and how to report abuse or fraud, related to their Medicare benefits.

    We all pay a price for Medicare fraud, waste and abuse, which contributes significantly to rising health care costs. There are three things you can do to help fight Medicare fraud:

    1. Know your rights. As a person with Medicare, you have certain rights and protections designed to help protect you and make sure you get the health care services the law says you can get.
    2. Protect your identity. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Keep this personal information safe:
      • Your name.
      • Your Social Security Number (SSN).
      • Your Medicare number (or your membership card if you’re in a Medicare Advantage or other Medicare health plan).
      • Your credit card and bank account numbers.
    3. Get involved with other seniors with the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). The SMP educates and empowers people with Medicare to take an active role in detecting and preventing health care fraud and abuse.
    You can find more Medicare fraud tips on our website. If you suspect Medicare fraud or have questions about your bill:

    A tradition of service on display as the 1161st Transportation Company deactivates

    Wed, 09 Mar 2016 14:32:43 -0800

    Community, service members say farewell to historic Ephrata unit

    Didn't play his cards right: Spokane casino dealer must repay $27,000 in workers' comp scam

    Tue, 08 Mar 2016 16:30:00 -0800

    A Spokane card dealer caught working at casinos while receiving disability benefits must repay the state more than $27,000.

    Have a quick question? Try our new live chat

    Tue, 08 Mar 2016 11:20:52 -0800

    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.


    We recently launched a live chat feature to help consumers get answers to their quick questions about insurance and their rights. Consumers can chat with one of our consumer advocates Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. If your question needs more attention, we will direct you to the right place to get the help you need.

    Consumers can reach us:




    WYA hosts information sessions

    Tue, 08 Mar 2016 06:39:46 -0800

    Information sessions are designed to inform prospective students, parents, and educators about the opportunities available at the Washington Youth Academy.

    Helping Washington consumers is our mission

    Mon, 07 Mar 2016 08:14:11 -0800

    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:

    In 2015, our consumer advocates fielded 6,130 consumer complaints and helped recover more than $9.1 million in insurance billings, refunds and other claims-related issues for Washington citizens. Read more about the ways we helped consumers in 2015.

    We share information of interest to insurance consumers on this blog and through our social media channels. Many of our blog posts are generated by questions our consumer advocates receive from Washington citizens.

    More resources for consumers:

    New chairman of state Emergency Management Council elected

    Fri, 04 Mar 2016 13:32:53 -0800

    Ron Averill helms from Lewis County, has been on council since 2010

    How to get health insurance if you missed open enrollment

    Fri, 04 Mar 2016 10:43:57 -0800

    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).

    Such events include, but are not limited to:
    • Losing health insurance, including an employer plan or individual health plan
    • Losing Apple Health (Medicaid) because you no longer qualify
    • Giving birth to or adopting a child
    • Permanently moving to a new area where your current plan doesn't provide coverage
    • Your employer not paying your COBRA premiums on time
    • Your COBRA coverage ending or reaching the lifetime limit
    • Your dependent turning age 26 and losing their coverage on your employer plan
    • Getting married or entering into a domestic partnership
    • Getting divorced or ending a domestic partnership
    • Cancelling your Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP) coverage
    • Your health plan no longer being offered for sale in Washington state

    Most special enrollment periods are limited to 60 days from the qualifying event. Keep in mind that you won't qualify for special enrollment if you voluntarily cancel your health insurance or if your insurer cancels you because you didn't pay your premium.

    If you don't qualify for special enrollment, here's some resources that may help you afford medical care.

    Next year's open enrollment for individual and family coverage starts Nov. 1, 2016.

    Military Dept. donates food to local food bank

    Fri, 04 Mar 2016 06:47:13 -0800

    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.

    Free safety seminar on March 24 features companies recognized for safety excellence

    Thu, 03 Mar 2016 15:40:00 -0800

    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.

    Conference brings together women in agriculture to network and learn

    Thu, 03 Mar 2016 12:31:00 -0800

    Women in Agriculture Conference March 19 includes networking in Olympia at Natural Resources Building.

    Five Schools, One District Named STEM Lighthouse Schools

    Wed, 02 Mar 2016 11:40:00 -0800

    A total of five schools and one district will serve as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math mentors to other schools in the state.

    Public invited to review gypsy moth environmental documents

    Wed, 02 Mar 2016 11:08:00 -0800

    WSDA and the USDA are now accepting comments on a proposed plan to eradicate introductions of gypsy moth at seven sites in Western Washington.

    Remove limits for bass, channel catfish and walleye in Columbia River tributaries contiguous with Oregon

    Wed, 02 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0800

    Spring chinook must be released on the Lewis River

    Tue, 01 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0800

    Daily spring chinook salmon limit to increase on the Kalama River

    Tue, 01 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0800

    Dorn Statement on House and Senate Budget Proposals

    Thu, 25 Feb 2016 11:00:00 -0800

    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.

    State AP Scores and Participation Rate Rise Again

    Wed, 24 Feb 2016 12:00:00 -0800

    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.

    Nail-biting game for Guardsmen at the 22nd annual Canuck USA Hockey Classic

    Wed, 24 Feb 2016 09:05:40 -0800

    Annual Hockey Match brings thrill and fun competition in the spirit of giving back.

    Workers who lose limbs will receive state-of-the-art care at new Center of Excellence for Amputations thanks to partnership between Harborview Medical Center and L&I

    Tue, 23 Feb 2016 13:52:00 -0800

    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.

    34 Schools Win Award for Career- and College-Readiness Programs

    Tue, 23 Feb 2016 09:00:00 -0800

    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.

    Grocery store worker, aesthetician charged in separate workers' comp fraud cases

    Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:29:00 -0800

    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.

    L&I offering grant money for safety and health improvement projects

    Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:55:00 -0800

    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.

    WYA teacher named national teacher of year

    Wed, 17 Feb 2016 09:25:08 -0800

    Teacher at Washington Youth Academy wins national teacher of the year honors

    Revenue releases tax exemption report with interactive tool

    Tue, 16 Feb 2016 16:50:01 -0800

    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.

    OSPI Releases Data to Help Improve School Attendance

    Tue, 16 Feb 2016 15:00:00 -0800

    ”Chronic absenteeism,” defined as missing 18 or more days of school during a school year, significantly affects student learning.

    Revenue's risk management program earns national praise

    Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:57:42 -0800

    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.

    OSPI Announces Award-Winning CTE Students

    Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:55:00 -0800

    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 Success Award.

    Volunteers needed to evaluate grants for parks, trails and wildlife habitat

    Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:50:00 -0800

    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

    Who determines how much my totaled car is worth?

    Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:08:22 -0800


    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.

    Continued growth in state's taxable retail sales – 7.8 percent increase

    Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:31:43 -0800

    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.

    State ranks 35th in nation for taxes paid relative to income

    Tue, 09 Feb 2016 11:56:43 -0800

    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.

    Not sure if we can help you with an insurance problem? Ask us anyway

    Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:29:50 -0800

    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:

    Washington National Guard Engineer Company set to deploy to Kuwait

    Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:16:26 -0800

    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.

    Revenue offers free tax workshop Feb. 16 in East Wenatchee

    Tue, 02 Feb 2016 16:27:57 -0800

    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 safety conference set for Feb. 24 in Wenatchee -- registration open now

    Tue, 02 Feb 2016 15:42:00 -0800

    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.

    Insurers should be current on emerging treatments for consumers

    Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:27:33 -0800

    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.

    Number of Homeless Students Continues to Climb

    Tue, 02 Feb 2016 09:00:00 -0800

    Having a consistent and safe place to sleep at night is little more than a dream to many children.

    Legislation helps Guard retain civilian jobs while on state service

    Tue, 02 Feb 2016 08:52:14 -0800

    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

    King County unregistered contractor must repay elderly victim more than $31,000

    Fri, 29 Jan 2016 15:25:00 -0800

    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.

    My insurance premium went up. How can I find out the reason for the increase?

    Thu, 28 Jan 2016 14:49:25 -0800

    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. 


    Every policy is priced differently, depending upon the type of coverage you want and what are called underwriting factors.

    Underwriting factors for auto insurance may include:

    • Household/family driver records.
    • Driver(s) age(s).
    • Type of vehicle(s).
    • The number of miles you drive per year.
    • Where you live and/or drive your car.
    • Level of coverage being purchased
    • There may be surcharges or discounts unique to your situation.
    Underwriting factors for homeowner’s insurance may include:
    • The age of your home.
    • The materials used to build your home.
    • Your home’s value, as based upon its size and features.
    • Your home’s location.
    • Prior claims or losses for the home.
    Read more about understanding auto insurance and understanding home insurance.

    Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

    Olympia roofing company fined more than $425,000 for safety violations

    Wed, 27 Jan 2016 14:00:00 -0800

    The Roof Doctor Inc., of Olympia, has been fined $427,000 for exposing workers to fall hazards without adequate fall protection.

    OSPI Testifies on Bill to Streamline High School Graduation Requirements

    Wed, 27 Jan 2016 09:00:00 -0800

    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.

    Dorn Testifies on Teacher Shortage Bill

    Tue, 26 Jan 2016 11:00:00 -0800

    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.

    Skokomish Gaming Compact - Proposed Amendment

    Tue, 26 Jan 2016 08:15:00 -0800

    Tribal and State negotiators have reached a tentative agreement with the Skokomish Indian Tribe on an amendment to their Class III Gaming Compact.

    Sponsors Needed for Summer Food Service Program

    Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:00:00 -0800

    The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is seeking sponsors for the 2016 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

    If you find yourself the subject of an insurance fraud investigation, the best thing to do is cooperate

    Fri, 22 Jan 2016 13:44:36 -0800

    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.


    Most consumers we talk to are surprised to find out that insurers have the right and responsibility to investigate potentially fraudulent insurance claims. If an insurance company flags a claim as high risk for fraud, consumers are contacted by the company’s special investigations unit (SIU).

    Being the subject of a fraud investigation can be unnerving, and many consumers are bewildered and angered by SIU actions of their insurers. Consumers who contact us generally feel the company is infringing on their rights; however, that is not the case. We advise consumers to cooperate with the company’s investigation; most policies state that consumers are required to cooperate with any investigations, or they forfeit their rights outlined in the insurance policy.

    Insurance fraud is a crime in Washington state, so if you are being investigated, it’s best to cooperate and provide any documentation you can to support the facts in your claim.

    If an insurance company’s SIU finds evidence that a crime occurred, they forward the case to Commissioner Kreidler’s SIU, which conducts an investigation and works with the state Attorney General’s Office and local law enforcement to prosecute people who are suspected of committing insurance fraud.

    In 2015, Kreidler’s SIU received nearly 1,700 fraud referrals and obtained 22 felony guilty pleas or convictions. Approximately 10 cents of every dollar consumers pay toward insurance premiums pays for a fraudulent insurance claim.

    Read more about Kreidler’s SIU
    Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

    Legislature Explores New Ways to Delay Complying With Constitution

    Tue, 19 Jan 2016 14:00:00 -0800

    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.

    New beginnings for Washington Guardsmen

    Mon, 18 Jan 2016 17:12:49 -0800

    Career Fair helps soldiers figure out future career options

    Eastern Washington painter accused of illegal contracting agrees to stop

    Fri, 15 Jan 2016 16:13:00 -0800

    A Colville painter facing criminal charges of unregistered contracting agreed this week to stop working illegally.

    Ferndale refinery fined nearly $325,000 for workplace violations

    Fri, 15 Jan 2016 11:23:00 -0800

    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.

    ChalleNGe Academy helps students back on the road to success

    Thu, 14 Jan 2016 10:11:01 -0800

    Youth ChalleNGe program helping students succeed in school

    Stakeholders gather for earthquake preparedness

    Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:20:06 -0800

    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.

    Company fined more than $1 million after explosion at Newport, Wash., plant

    Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:00:00 -0800

    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.

    Tribal Gaming Contribuitions Help Communities

    Tue, 12 Jan 2016 11:15:00 -0800

    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.

    Regulation Unit Overview - Invitation

    Tue, 12 Jan 2016 10:15:00 -0800

    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.

    Tacoma Educator is National Finalist for Teacher of the Year

    Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:00:00 -0800

    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.

    Dorn Testifies on Inslee's Inadequate Proposed Education Budget

    Mon, 11 Jan 2016 04:00:00 -0800

    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.

    Bellevue Teacher Wins $25,000 Milken Educator Award

    Thu, 07 Jan 2016 11:00:00 -0800

    State Superintendent Randy Dorn and other special guests made a surprise appearance this morning in Bellevue at International School’s schoolwide assembly.

    Medicare offers weight loss program

    Thu, 07 Jan 2016 09:05:51 -0800

    A new year has started and many of us have set weight loss as a goal. You may be thinking of looking into one of the many weight-loss programs available to consumers. However, if you’re on Medicare, did you know that it pays for obesity screening in some cases as a preventive service?

    For people who qualify for the obesity screening, Medicare pays for up to 22 face-to-face intensive counseling sessions during a 12-month period with a primary care doctor who accepts Medicare. Qualifying clients have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. 

    The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver recently featured a medical clinic that provides this service for Medicare recipients.

    If you are interested in this service, first you should contact your primary care doctor to see if he or she offers this type of program. You can read more about the coverage on Medicare’s website.

    Washington National Guard Mourns the Loss of a Citizen Soldier

    Wed, 06 Jan 2016 08:14:45 -0800

    Guard mourns the loss of a citizen-soldier, honors his sacrifice

    Economic Market Study on Gambling

    Tue, 05 Jan 2016 10:15:00 -0800

    The Gambling Commission is now accepting bids from firms interested in conducting an ecomomic market study on gambling in Washington State.

    Dept. of Def. 2016 Election Year Guidance

    Fri, 01 Jan 2016 10:53:10 -0800

    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.

    Record number graduates from Washington Youth Academy

    Tue, 29 Dec 2015 14:01:48 -0800

    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

    There's still time to get a health plan for 2016

    Mon, 28 Dec 2015 11:23:58 -0800


    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. 


    If you do not qualify for help with your health insurance, you can contact an insurance agent or broker directly to find out what your plan options are. You can look at the 2016 individual plans and rates on our website.

    Read some tips from us about things you should consider when shopping for a health plan.

    After Jan. 31, you’ll have to qualify for a special enrollment period to sign up or make a change to your plan, or wait until the 2017 open enrollment period.

    Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

    Wednesday is the deadline to get a health plan for Jan. 1

    Mon, 21 Dec 2015 15:28:51 -0800

    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.


    If you are still looking for a health plan, you can look for one at our state’s health insurance exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder and find out if you qualify for financial help, including tax credits that may lower the cost of coverage. If you do not qualify for help with your health insurance, you can contact an insurance agent or broker to find out what your plan options are.

    Read some tips from our office about things you should consider when shopping for a health plan.

    Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

    Is there a drone on your shopping list? You might want to talk to your agent or broker

    Fri, 18 Dec 2015 15:27:20 -0800

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates more than one million drones will be sold this holiday season. Everyone from photographers and farmers to law enforcement and hobbyists are using drones.  Whether for personal or commercial use, there are a number of insurance issues to consider ranging from personal injury and property damage to privacy concerns.

    Drones present a significant risk to property and life on the ground in the event of an accident. Drones can crash due to faulty and inappropriate operation, mechanical defects and component failure. Losses and damages could involve bodily injury to humans and animals as well as buildings and structures.

    Using a private drone as a hobby is generally covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy—and subject to a deductible--which typically covers radio-controlled model aircraft. This also applies to a renter's insurance policy. Look at the contents section of your policy, or talk to your agent to see if your drone will be covered if it is lost, stolen or damaged. If your drone falls onto your car, damage to your car may be covered if you have a comprehensive coverage auto policy.

    A larger concern is liability for an accident caused by your drone. If your drone crashes into someone else's vehicle or a person. If you have a homeowner’s or renter's policy, generally the policy will cover liability for an accident caused by your drone if it is determined that you were negligent and at fault. Check with your agent or insurer to verify your policy contains this important coverage. You can also read a story about drone insurance that was recently posted on the Insurance Journal’s website.

    Drones are defined as remotely piloted aircraft systems and the FAA says pilots of unmanned aircraft have the same responsibility to fly safely as manned aircraft pilots. In addition to FAA regulations, state and municipalities may have their own laws regarding drone use.  The FAA has issued these guidelines for drone hobbyists:

    • Don't fly higher than 400 feet and stay clear of surrounding obstacles.
    • Keep the aircraft in sight at all times.
    • Stay away from manned aircraft operations.
    • Don't fly within five miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying.
    • Avoid flying near people or stadiums.
    • Don't fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 pounds.
    • Use caution when flying your unmanned aircraft.
    • With some drones weighing up to 55 pounds, a fall from the sky can cause significant damage to property or bystanders.



    Recently, federal regulators announced that recreational drone operators will soon need to register their aircraft. This will allow authorities to trace a drone back to the owner, which means it's vital that you're in compliance with laws and regulations and have the appropriate insurance coverage.

    Changes in sport clam seasons on public tidelands

    Fri, 18 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0800

    Changes in sport oyster seasons on public tidelands

    Fri, 18 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0800

    State Offers Grants for Outdoor Education, Recreation

    Thu, 17 Dec 2015 12:00:00 -0800

    The State today begins accepting applications for the No Child Left Inside program, which is aimed at giving at-risk children outdoor experiences.

    Wash EMD director boosting the national conversation on earthquake preparedness

    Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:14:29 -0800

    EMD director was recently appointed as chairman of an earthquake subcommittee of the National Emergency Management Association

    Relief for businesses, property owners affected by wind and flooding

    Fri, 11 Dec 2015 15:32:34 -0800

    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.

    Salmon Recovery Projects Awarded More Than $44 Million in Grants

    Wed, 09 Dec 2015 17:20:00 -0800

    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.

    No health insurance for 2015 or 2016? You may be facing a tax penalty

    Wed, 09 Dec 2015 15:34:56 -0800

    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:

    • The fee is calculated one of two ways. The fee for not having health insurance if you can afford it is $695 per person in your household who doesn’t have health insurance or 2.5 percent of your income – whichever is higher. HealthCare.gov has a guide to estimate the fee you’ll have to pay if you don’t have health insurance. 
    • The fee for 2015 is lower than for 2016. For 2015, the fee for not having health insurance if affordable insurance is available to you is $325 per person or 2 percent of your annual household income – whichever is higher. The fee is calculated based on the number of months you, your spouse, or your tax dependents went without qualifying coverage, such as an employer-sponsored health plan, Medicare, Medicaid or coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

      In some cases, the fee may be higher than buying health insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder. You can look at plans and find out if you qualify for help at www.wahealthplanfinder.org
    • For some people, exemptions from the fee are available. People with very low incomes and individuals who meet other specific conditions can receive an exemption from the requirement to have health insurance and will not have to pay the fee. Additional information about exemptions and a tool that helps you determine if you qualify for an exemption is available on HealthCare.gov. 
    If you need health coverage and want to avoid the fee for 2016, the deadline to enroll in a plan is Jan. 31. If you don’t enroll by then, you could have to wait another year to get coverage and may have to pay the fee when you file your 2016 income taxes. If you want coverage that starts on Jan. 1, you need to enroll by Dec. 23.

    More information about the individual mandate on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) website.

    State EOC activated due to hazardous weather throughout Washington

    Wed, 09 Dec 2015 10:34:31 -0800

    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

    What to know before the next flood, landslide

    Tue, 08 Dec 2015 10:49:32 -0800

    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

    WMD to reinstitute the Conditional Scholarship Program

    Fri, 04 Dec 2015 10:18:23 -0800

    Funds over the next two years to assist Guardsmen attaining higher education

    Responsible & Problem Gambling Training

    Thu, 03 Dec 2015 10:15:00 -0800

    Recreational Gaming Association and Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling train thousands of RGA Members in Responsible & Problem Gambling Practices.

    Health insurers must provide transparency tools to consumers on Jan. 1

    Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:34:24 -0800

    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.

    Tips for holiday travelers

    Tue, 24 Nov 2015 11:30:11 -0800

    Are you traveling for the upcoming holiday? Here are some travel tips to help keep you safe and informed.

    Driving

    Traveling by plane
    Other travel tips

    State State Awards Nearly $7 Million in Grants for Sports Fields and Facilities

    Thu, 19 Nov 2015 16:20:00 -0800

    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 will notify enrollees about withdrawal from Washington market

    Thu, 19 Nov 2015 08:18:03 -0800


    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 company cited business reasons for the voluntary withdrawal.

    How does CUP’s withdrawal affect the Washington health insurance market?

    CUP offered individual plans in Clark County only. As of November 2015, CUP had fewer than 100 enrollees in the individual market. These plans were offered only through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. The company also managed insurance coverage for about 55,000 enrollees in Medicaid plans in Clark County. The Washington Health Care Authority (HCA) oversees Medicaid in Washington.

    HCA is aware of CUP’s withdrawal from the Washington market and its proposal to sell its Medicaid business to Molina Healthcare.

    How does this affect those who enrolled in Exchange plans?

    The Health Benefit Exchange is aware of CUP’s withdrawal and proposed sale. The Exchange is reaching out to any enrollees who selected CUP for 2016 to assist them in choosing another plan. CUP 2015 enrollees will be covered through the end of the year and can select alternate coverage for 2016. Any CUP enrollee who wants to change coverage for the remainder of 2015 may request a special enrollment.

    How will current enrollees be notified CUP’s decision?

    The company is responsible for notifying, by Nov. 19, 2015, all individuals who have purchased individual coverage through CUP, to be effective on or after Jan. 1, 2016, that their coverage is terminated. The company’s plans will no longer be listed on the Washington Healthplanfinder.

    Even with CUP’s voluntary withdrawal, Washington remains a competitive market with a wide selection of choices. There are five companies that sell individual plans in Clark County. Overall in Washington, there are 14 insurers and more than 200 plans available for consumers for coverage in 2016.

    Will existing claims be paid?

    Washington state insurance law requires that all claims be paid and that company make plans for payment. At this time there is no concern about the company paying existing claims for enrollees in its Washington plans.

    OIC has saved auto insurance consumers nearly $26 million since 2010

    Tue, 17 Nov 2015 14:51:23 -0800

    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.

    • 2014: $6.2 million 
    • 2013: $8.9 million 
    • 2012: $5.6 million 
    • 2011: $2.7 million 
    • 2010: $2.7 million 
    Read more about auto insurance in Washington state.

    State to Recognize City of Bothell for Top Ranked Forest Project

    Mon, 16 Nov 2015 11:20:00 -0800

    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.

    Washington wildfire victims: Hire smart when repairing, rebuilding

    Fri, 13 Nov 2015 09:20:02 -0800

    As Washington consumers begin to rebuild and repair their homes and businesses after this summer's wildfires, we are partnering with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to share this message: Hire registered contractors.

    Unregistered contractors often have no bond or liability insurance, don’t get building permits, and fail to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. It’s a risky combination that leaves property owners financially vulnerable if workers are injured on their property or the contractor does shoddy work – or takes a down payment and never returns.

    Construction contractors are required to register with L&I. In turn, L&I confirms that they have a business license, liability insurance and a bond – requirements that give property owners some monetary recourse if something goes wrong.

    Hiring registered contractors provides the best chance for success and to protect your investment.

    Hire Smart to avoid rebuilding and repair headaches
    • Verify your prospective contractor’s registration at www.ProtectMyHome.net or call 1-800-647-0982.
    • Get at least three written bids.
    • Check contractor references.
    • Pay only as work is completed.



    Fantasy Sports Presentation in Olympia

    Thu, 12 Nov 2015 10:15:00 -0800

    Join us Thursday, November 12, 2015, at the Gambling Commission’s public meeting in Olympia for a staff presentation on Fantasy Sports.

    State to Recognize City of Wenatchee for Top Ranked Park Project

    Tue, 10 Nov 2015 16:15:00 -0800

    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.

    State to Recognize Washington Trails Association for Top Ranked Trail Projects

    Fri, 06 Nov 2015 09:00:00 -0800

    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.

    Lynnwood car dealer sentenced for tax fraud case

    Mon, 02 Nov 2015 13:01:49 -0800

    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 Brandon Vick Appointed as Ex Officio Member to the Washington State Gambling Commission

    Thu, 15 Oct 2015 11:15:00 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers virtual career fair Oct. 28 for those with disabilities

    Wed, 14 Oct 2015 19:26:31 -0700

    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.”

    New faces join senior leadership ranks at Revenue

    Wed, 14 Oct 2015 19:25:31 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Oct. 21 in Vancouver

    Wed, 07 Oct 2015 20:54:13 -0700

    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. 21, 2015.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Oct. 21 in Spokane

    Wed, 07 Oct 2015 20:53:34 -0700

    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. 21, 2015.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Oct. 21 in Federal Way

    Wed, 07 Oct 2015 20:52:53 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Oct. 20 in Port Angeles

    Wed, 07 Oct 2015 20:52:05 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers free webinar about taxes for businesses Oct. 20

    Wed, 07 Oct 2015 20:50:57 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Oct. 15 in Bellevue

    Wed, 07 Oct 2015 20:50:07 -0700

    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. 15, 2015.

    Víctimas de incendios forestales: No permitan que estafas de construcción frustren sus planes de reconstruir

    Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:48:50 -0700

    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.

    Wildfire victims: Don't let construction scams dash rebuilding plans

    Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:47:12 -0700

     TUMWATER Oct. 1, 2015 — In the aftermath of disasters, victims too often face a second catastrophe as dishonest contractors descend upon them like locusts.

    Volunteers Needed to Evaluate Grants for Parks, Trails and Farmland and Wildlife Habitat

    Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:00:00 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Oct. 7 in Seattle

    Thu, 24 Sep 2015 02:23:57 -0700

    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. 7.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Oct. 6 in Bellingham

    Thu, 24 Sep 2015 02:22:39 -0700

    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 Oct. 6.

    Business Licensing Service adds Woodinville partnership

    Thu, 24 Sep 2015 02:22:07 -0700

    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.

    State Recognizes Clallam County for Top Ranked Project

    Tue, 22 Sep 2015 14:00:00 -0700

    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.

    State Recognizes Nisqually Land Trust for Top Ranked Project

    Mon, 14 Sep 2015 16:30:31 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Sept. 24 in Tumwater

    Fri, 11 Sep 2015 02:41:49 -0700

    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, Sept. 24.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Sept. 16 in Vancouver

    Fri, 11 Sep 2015 02:41:04 -0700

    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. 16, 2015.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Sept. 2 in Bremerton

    Sat, 22 Aug 2015 05:55:32 -0700

    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 2.

    New tax changes on way for some out-of-state businesses

    Sat, 22 Aug 2015 05:54:31 -0700

    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.

    Relief for businesses and property owners affected by E. Wash. wildfires

    Wed, 19 Aug 2015 07:07:24 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers tax workshop Aug. 18 in Wenatchee

    Wed, 05 Aug 2015 07:52:15 -0700

    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. 18, 2015.

    Late in paying business taxes? Penalties increased Aug. 1

    Wed, 05 Aug 2015 04:18:31 -0700

    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.

    Bellevue home builder sentenced to jail for tax theft

    Fri, 31 Jul 2015 07:02:46 -0700

    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.

    Joint Media Release with the Seattle Police Department

    Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:15:00 -0700

    Five pit pulls rescued from dog fighting operation in South Seattle, two suspects arrested.

    Indian Gaming Congressional Oversight Hearing

    Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:15:00 -0700

    Director Trujillo testifies at Congressional Hearing on Safeguarding the Integrity of Indian Gaming.

    More seniors, disabled citizens qualify for property tax relief

    Sat, 25 Jul 2015 09:07:35 -0700

    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.

    New feature allows businesses to print reseller permits

    Sat, 25 Jul 2015 09:06:24 -0700

    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.

    SuspectFraud.com helps protect consumers, save them money

    Fri, 17 Jul 2015 11:36:33 -0700

    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.

    Workshops help businesses identify, manage unclaimed property

    Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:11:51 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers tax workshop July 23 in Kennewick

    Tue, 14 Jul 2015 20:11:56 -0700

    Revenue offers tax workshop July 22 in Spokane

    Tue, 14 Jul 2015 20:11:39 -0700

    Revenue offers tax workshop July 21 in Port Angeles

    Tue, 14 Jul 2015 20:11:20 -0700

    Revenue offers free webinar about taxes for businesses July 21

    Tue, 14 Jul 2015 20:10:55 -0700

    Revenue offers tax workshop July 16 in Bellevue

    Wed, 08 Jul 2015 16:41:34 -0700

    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 16, 2015.

    Revenue offers tax workshop July 15 in Vancouver

    Wed, 08 Jul 2015 16:40:43 -0700

    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 15, 2015.

    Revenue offers tax workshop July 14 in Bellingham

    Wed, 08 Jul 2015 16:39:43 -0700

    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 14, 2015.

    Cheat Detection Demonstration - Invitation

    Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:15:00 -0700

    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.

    New tax changes take effect July 1

    Thu, 02 Jul 2015 23:32:26 -0700

    OLYMPIA – July 1, 2015 – Several tax changes take effect July 1 now that Washington’s new state operating budget has been enacted.

    Relief for Wenatchee-area businesses affected by wildfire

    Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:37:55 -0700

    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. 

    Asistencia para los negocios afectados por los incendios forestales

    Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:36:50 -0700

    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.

    Special Agent Herrington Awarded NAGRA's "Excellence in Gaming Regulation"

    Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:15:00 -0700

    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.

    Revenue offers tax workshop July 1 in Seattle

    Fri, 19 Jun 2015 02:23:12 -0700

    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 1, 2015.

    Revenue offers tax workshop June 24 in Tumwater

    Sun, 14 Jun 2015 06:47:27 -0700

    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 24, 2015.

    Illegal Card Games Busted in East Tacoma

    Wed, 10 Jun 2015 09:00:00 -0700

    Responding to complaints of illegal card games, WSGC Special Agents, assisted by Tacoma Police Officers executed a search warrant at Billiards Hall, Yakima Avenue.