Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric of sponsors of Initiative 1029, an initiative designed to dramatically increase the training requirements for all home and community-based caregivers. Before signing on to this ill-conceived initiative we have to ask the tough question. Is this good public policy or simply an effort to thwart legislative process?
With an initial cost to taxpayers of over $74 million annually, this is an extremely costly proposition. Even more concerning is the fact that I-1029 will drive costs for people who pay for their own care. Finally, there is no conclusive evidence that the additional training is necessary.
Please note that the state’s Long Term Care Training Task Force and the Legislature did not support a 75-hour training requirement. They were concerned about additional taxpayer expense, they did want to create barriers to employment and they understood that caregiver competence isn’t established through assigning arbitrary hours of training.
They were, however, prepared to pass a bill that would have increased basic training requirements to 35 hours with opportunities for additional training and a voluntary career ladder that included certification. The bill would have also expanded the current background check requirements and registration.
Despite strong legislative support for this measure, the bill died during the final hours of session because SEIU opposition prevented the bill from being voted on for final passage.
Rather than sign onto an expensive, ill-conceived initiative, I’d encourage you to say no. It’s the wrong public policy for all the wrong reasons.
Marian Sanchez, Manager