Care worker initiative resurrected

first_imgOLYMPIA— Voters may get a second chance this November to require background checks and increased training for workers who care for seniors and people with disabilities.Initiative 1163 sponsors submitted more than 340,000 signatures to the Secretary of State on Friday to land their long-term care measure on the November ballot.The measure calls for home care and assisted-living workers who provide long-term care to seniors or people with disabilities to undergo 75 hours of training and obtain certification before starting their jobs. Currently, they need 34 hours of training and certification is merely optional.The proposed law is essentially identical to Initiative 1029, which received a landslide 72-percent approval vote in 2008, but was not funded or implemented by state legislators.“It’s unfortunate, but in this instance, the Legislature seems to be ignoring the will of the voters on what is an important issue,” said Sandeep Kaushik, spokesman for the Initiative 1163 campaign.Reports of abuse in homes with care workers have increased more than 15 percent since voters adopted Initiative 1029 nearly three years ago, Kaushik said. “We see these requirements as basic, common-sense protections for our vulnerable seniors.”last_img

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