HB 2377 Family Medical Care and Temporary 0.3% General Sales Tax Increase

April 25, 2009

Seattle Tunnel Ballard Community Forum

March 28, 2009

Seattle Tunnel Ballard Community Forum

This forum left more questions unanswered than were answered.

Tolls for one. How much on the tolls. Will it be feasible to collect tolls or will the operations bog down and choke off the entrance.

No answer as of yet on the quality of the dirt. How far down will the dirt dictate to go to non-shifted dirt. Remember that the phrase “Shop ’till you drop” was originated in Seattle. From Western Avenue every 1st floor was at the street level. At First Avenue the second floor was at street level. At Second Avenue the third floor was at street level. So in order to get from the street level on Second Avenue on had to climb down a ladder to get to the first floor of a building to enter the building. If your packages were too heavy or cumbersome then you could literally drop down the ladder. Of course, at that time it was time to drop. This happened when the fill-in dirt was put in. Subsequently the Second Avenue entrance is the equivalent of the former second floor level. The first floor is two stories down.

Why was the above raised is that also in consideration is the slope of the grade for the truck travel. A literally only 5% grade is extremely hazardous to the semi-truck industry. It was mentioned that this grade could possibly be a four percent grade or even a three percent grade when the question was raised. The tone of the answer was not based upon any studies or half-breed evidence but rather what the questioner probably wanted to hear. This type of answer is not conducive to the perception of confidence being instilled by anyone. But rather I smell an alternative plan or in other words a snow job. Is this really how government is supposed to conduct a community forum.

Another comment is that the construction of the tunnel will generate 2.9 jobs for every tunnel job created. Is this really true. I say the 2.9 jobs are just old smoke and mirrors for this particular project. When one job is created additional delays of travel are created for the rest of us. So if I want to go to another job for my second part time job and presently work downtown this will be impossible to do unless I also have a second job outside of the core downtown Seattle area. At night downtown Seattle virtually is dead. An occasional job at the Quest filed or Safeco field could be worked at but will the job expire if no one is traveling to downtown due to the traffic congestion created by a few Tunnel workers. In certain situations an economic model of the creation of 2.9 additional workers is not applicable.

This project also ignors the will of the voters from two years ago. Overwhelmingly the voters said “NO” to a cut and cover Tunnel along the waterfront. What is the difference here. Should not a vote of all of the alternatives be given to the citizens to exactly find out what the voice of the people are for them, “the community”.

The clearest and least expensive choice still is a retrofit which would only cost around $1B. In this day of economic crisis and of BOEING’s major buyer not being able to get financing for jet purchases should not the belt be tightened. The yearly accumulation of funds for this project could be done and this would truly lessen the burden and the interest costs of construction. Interest expense on bonds is really the cost of construction.

The Port of Seattle is also talking about contributing $300 million of the costs and it is really questionable whether infrastructure renovations not directly associated with the Port is part of the Port’s charter. What we do not need is a law suite contraditory to a Public Agencies Charter. Let’s think this thru and VOTE NO on a Seattle Tunnel. Sign I-99 or download and sign I-99 so this City Hall con-game can stop.


Letter about State Balanced Budget

March 6, 2009

Dear Senators and Representatives
 
Would like to find how the Washington State budget will be balanced.  Could you indicate to me the method which you will be using.  Please mention a bill or how much of a particular program you would be cutting off.  Of course a dollar amount should also be indicated. 
 
My method is to
1)  Save $1 bilion by passing Initiative 1043 – illegal immigrants initiative.
2)  Cut  $2 billion from the medical insurance to children.  The amount which it has grown by in the last several years could be cut back and the parents would have to assume their childrens health care insurance amounts.
3)  Cut $3 billion by implementing State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s performance audit recommendations.  Although many will take several years to get this type of a savings it is really a sound step in the start of this process.
4)  Cut $2.5 Billion from the state nursing home care portion of the budget.  This would be accomplished by making senior citizens either pay for their own nursing home insurance and by electing out of state coverage or by starting to pay for nursing home state insurance at the age of 65 and taking out 15% of the monthly amount from the senior citizens social security checks monthly and automatically.  The exact numbers on this I have not received back from my own representative, Mr. Scott White, but they should be close. 
 
Total savings of about $8.5 Billion 
 
Please indicate some recommendations which you would recommend.  If you wish to include only a minimum of $1 Billion please advise.  Will keep your information private for your purposes but will include as a whole for party declaration purposes.  Will not send this to your opposing party however except in the format of a blog or newspaper article unless you specifically say not to include your information.  Again, not from an individual basis but from  a collective basis.  So if three representatives say they would cut $75 million and another says $400 million and another says $300 million then the amount indicated would be $75 million – $400 million or the highest/lowest amount showing from a party collectively. amount.
 
Sincerely
 
Keith Ljunghammar


Washington State Balanced Budget

March 2, 2009

Mr. Brad Klippert
 
I know you are extremely interested in balancing the budget.

My idea is if something is changed with the senior citizens and nursing home care provided by the state then with some other ideas the state budget can be balanced. 
 
1)  Pass I-1043 Illegal immigrants initiative to the people.  Judge just signed off with the attorneys on the final wording on Friday.  Savings is $1 Billion for the biennium.
 
2)  Cut the aide to children for medical insurance in half.  This aide has increased in recent years from $2 Billion to around over $4 Billion.  This increase is mainly from increasing the parents level of income for qualifying a child for acceptance into the program.  Cutting this number in half will save $2 Billion for the biennium.  Savings now total is $3 Billion.
 
3)  Implement all of Brian Sonntag’s, State Auditor Performance Audits.  I do not see the exact number now on the State Auditor’s website but this should be a little bit over or around $3 Billion.   Although savings may not be fully achieved until later years it is the start of the process.  The Port of Seattle has implemented some of the savings and the employee morale has increase substantially at the same time.  Total savings of around $6 Billion.
 
4)  Senior citizens pay for their own Nursing Home care.  If the senior citizens pay $2.5 Billion for nursing home care paid out of their social security checks in the amount of $150 per month starting at age 65 then this could balance the budget.  This is the area of the numbers which I am trying to gather together at the present time.  Total savings of around $8.5 Billion for the biennium. 

Oh, this balances the budget with a little bit of change.

 
Actually the idea is to help in the process to balance the budget and also start to get the state out of the business of providing free nursing home care.  The state should not be in the business of providing welfare medical coverage.  The CFP and present legal method is to have individuals who can pay to not have senior nursing home insurance but to have the money come out of current earnings.  Edward Jones security advisors say this is with an equity of $3.5 million or more for an individual.  But previously about 15 years ago I was informed that one with $300,000 to $650,000 in assets would not be able to be on the state without draining their bank accounts and assets nor be able to self finance.  This was when the high end of nursing home care was $55,000 per year.  The amount is about $8-9,000 per month at the present time.  Below this level the state would provide coverage.  The strategy for the two lower levels was to get your assets over to an irrevocable trust within 35 months of entering a nursing home or to pay for nursing home insurance for a better quality of life and nursing home care.  My idea would be to get people to pay 15% of their social security income starting at age 65.  The senior citizen recipient could opt out of the state system by paying for their own nursing home insurance.  Notifications would go out at around age 60 and once per year until age 65 to the senior citizens.  Eventually virtually no one except for the very low income senior citizen would be on state assistance.  
 
I was in your office on the Tuesday of the start of the full day the legislature with Craig Keller and Albert Pong.  You put the I-409/I-1043 information in a box of ideas to balance the budget.  How about $8.5 Billion savings for balancing the budget.  
 
**********************************************************
 
I have one idea which if put together with other ideas I have will balance the State budget.  But I need a little bit more information in order to see if my idea will be viable.  It would require changing the law though.
 
The idea which I am exploring will lessen the stress on the families of the senior citizens.
 
What I am trying to find out now is how many senior citizens there are in Washington State at or over 65 years of age.  My initial findings from the www.ssa.gov website indicate there are 34 million.  91% are receiving social security benefits.  This means that 9% are waiting to the age 70 1/2 to start withdrawing SS benefits.
 
 
While studying for the financial planner, I noticed some drastic financial mutations which have to be gone through for the retirement planning process.  I also realize the State is in a financial crisis.  Mixing my ideas together like a pencil with an eraser I have come up with another idea and one which might help in solving the budget deficit.
 
1)  How many senior citizens are there in Washington State.
2)  How much does each one receive in social security benefits on average. The ssa.gov website says $2715 per month but this number does not connect with what I have been seeing on tax returns.  For Washington State.
3)  How many senior citizens are on full state nursing home care which is subsidized by the state.
4)  How many total senior citizens are in Washington and on nursing home care.
5)  Same last two questions but related to in-home care.
6)  How much is the average cost of nursing home care for senior citizens.
7)  What is the average cost of nursing home care by the state for senior citizens.
8)  What is the average duration of care for state recipients and other private pay recipients.
9) What is the average age of the starting of nursing home care for senior citizens in Washington State. This would be for Washington State recipients and private pay recipients counted separately.
 
Thanking you in advance for your prompt and courteous response to the email.
 
Sincerely
 
Keith Ljunghammar, EA

keithlj.wordpress.com


House Bill 1793 – alternative student transportation

February 17, 2009

House Bill 1793 – alternative student transportation

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/1793.pdf

from page 1, line 19 equal to one percent of all funds, both state andfederal, expended for the construction of state highways in such year

This amount is being increase from the previous bill from three-tenths of one percent to one percent. For an extremely negative amount showing in the budget perhaps to as much as $8 Billion this increase would show imprudence on the part of the legislators in the State of Washington.

Yes, I would agree that sound and safe pathways for school children should be a priority but these funds should be coming from the general budget and not from the vehicle tax imposed for improving our roads. Perhaps each city and county needs to pass a bond for this extra item. Later, if the budget is fixed, then and only then should extras be put in the capital construction budget. Once again, the left sided agenda is putting pressure on the infrastructure and making it want for a better purpose. Social programs should be reduced or eliminated in order to make programs such as this safety feature a reality.

END


House Bill 1612 – Prevention of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases

February 17, 2009

House Bill 1612 – Prevention of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/1612.pdf

On page 2, line 9-12 reads: ” ‘Evidence-based’ means a program that uses practices proven to the greatest extent possible through research in compliance with scientific methods to effective and beneficial for the target population.

What this means to me is that they say they are right all of the time and I am wrong all of the time. Such arrogance.

In the olden days the scientific methods were:

1) Get the shotgun out honey, we are going to have a wedding tonight. This was just after the board in the center of the bed was kicked out.

2) What is wrong with the mother or father or the brothers and sisters being around each other continually while in the presence of a non-family member. This can reduce pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases to unprecedented levels.

3) Why does a scientific method need to be introduced when true unscientific methods have been used and have stood up to the test of time.

Is it really a duty of the state government to watch over someone when the family unit is supposed to do this. The basic government formation is the family unit.

END

 


HB 2133 – Accumulated sick leave for volunteer work

February 16, 2009
HB 2133 – Accumulated sick leave for volunteer work

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/Summary.aspx?bill=2133&year=2009

This bill in its conceptualization seems to be of a positive good-hearted nature. But. This is exactly the opposite of what the employee and the State need for achieving overall personal and state goals.

The purpose of accumulating and even of having sick leave is to be able to continue with the payment of bills if and ever if an accident or a catastrophic illness occurs. Twenty-two days is but only a little bit over one month of accumulation of sick pay. For all purposes this is not enough if a serious illness does occur.

This bill will create ill-will and disillusionment on the part of the government employee. “I helped out during my communities mishappenings and now that I am sick no one else is helping me” syndrome. The world, yes, is cruel and benevolence is noteworthy.

The objective of sick pay is to be accumulated while one is sick and not having money come in because of the reliance upon a continuation of cash flow. Long-term care insurance which would take over in about three months or six months is taken out to guard against the real catastrophies of life. There is no sense in having this catastophe compounded by making the employee suffer financially for five months period of time rather than a shorter period of time.

Ideally the accumulation of sick leave up to the point where the long-term care insurance kicks in is the primary objective of sick pay.

Under current federal law a retiring individual can specify that remaining sick leave be used to pay for health insurance or to be paid out in a lump sum. This lump sum in cash would obviously be taxable. The accumulation of one of the major costs of retirement for future years benefits would greatly enhance the senior citizens prospects of surviving in a more comfortable fashion rather than being paid for the current acts of kindness which would have been better served as future income rather than meeting present income needs.

In no way is this bill in the benefit of the employee overall and in no way is this bill in the best interest of the community and in no way is this bill in the best interest of the greater State of Washington.

This bill also violates the entire premise of sound financial planning for the retirement years which would be ahead.