Letters to the Editor

Oppose Senate Bill 6442 as a bad deal for everyone | Letter

I am writing in opposition to Senate Bill 6442. I am a National Board Certified teacher in the Kent School District and I reside in Enumclaw. SB 6442 is bad for everyone: taxpayers, employees and school districts.

Under SB 6442, a state bureaucracy would take over the healthcare system for K-12 school employees. According to the state's own fiscal note, it would cost taxpayers $45 million or more in the coming years. SB 6442 eliminates private-sector competition among insurance companies and limits options. This bill would add another costly function to the state bureaucracy at a time when vital funding for K-12 education and other services is being cut.

SB 6442 eliminates health benefits for thousands of part-time school employees, including many bus drivers, paraprofessionals and cafeteria workers. Meanwhile, state legislators who serve on a part-time basis receive $850 a month for health insurance, the full allocation.

SB 6442 costs school employees more, reduces their benefits and limits their options. It also shifts costs and risks onto local school districts. I urge citizens of Washington to encourage their legislators to vote no on SB 6442.

Barbara Landwehr

Enumclaw

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