Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.


1. This C.R. Douglas interview with local anti-gay marriage leader Rev. Joe Fuiten, who says he already has a pledge for $1 million from an out-of-state group (he won't say which one) to help a referendum campaign overturn gay marriage, plus this Seattle Times article on the D.C.-based anti-gay marriage group National Organization for Marriage (NOM), add up to a daunting preview for gay marriage advocates who themselves have already brought in national organizing help from the DC-based pro-gay rights group, Human Rights Campaign.[pullquote]Critics who say gay legislators are wasting the legislature's time on social issues as opposed to dealing with budgeting issues, should take note of gay Rep. Marko Liias' (D-21) latest bill.[/pullquote]

2. PubliCola's own Erica C. Barnett will be on KUOW's Weekday with Steve Scher this morning to review this week's big stories. With ECB on the show, Fizz guesses the Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood story  (Komen reversed its decision this morning) will figure prominently in the roundup.

Tune in. 94.9  FM. 10AM.

3. Critics on the right who say gay legislators are wasting the legislature's time on social issues such as gay marriage instead of dealing with budgeting issues, should take note of gay Rep. Marko Liias' (D-21) latest bill, which he introduced yesterday.

"Guaranteeing that the top one percent pay too"—as Liias' bill is officially called—would put a two percent tax on millionaires to fund K-12 education.

Of course, the bill needs a two-thirds vote to pass (he has 18 cosponsors, all Democrats), just as the bill that Seattle Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-36) introduced earlier this week to sunset 300 tax exemptions and bring them back for a simple majority vote does. (Carlyle has one Republican cosponsor, Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-5, out of 20 cosponsors.)[pullquote]During the last three years of budget cutting in-home personal care services have been cut by $311 million.[/pullquote]

4. The Service Employees International Union, SEIU 775, sued the state Department of Social and Health Services in Thurston County Superior Court this week. The health care union says DSHS illegally made a unilateral emergency decision to scale back the number of hours home health care workers can claim, specifically preventing providers from adding on hours for doing off-site laundry service and claiming extra hours for clients who live 45 minutes from a grocery or drug store.

The SEIU complaint states:
Prior to the adoption of the emergency rule, DSHS authorized eight “add on hours” for  off-site laundry service and up to five “add on hours” for clients who live more than 45 minutes from essential services. ... DSHS expects providers to continue to do off­site laundry and essential shopping where the client lives more than 45 minutes from a grocery or drug store, as these tasks are required by the client’s CARE plan, but is not authorizing the number of hours it knows are needed to perform them.

"By cutting these hours in secret," SEIU spokesman Adam Glickman says, "DSHS is acting as a rogue agency with no oversight. Our seniors and people with disabilities need to have their vital services preserved. Instead, unelected bureaucrats are making millions of dollars of cuts to home care without even consulting the legislature."

During the last three years of budget cutting in-home personal care services have been cut by $311 million, resulting in more than 46,000 elderly and disabled adults losing up to a quarter of their monthly hours of care.

The governor's current budget proposal would end care completely for 1600 people and cut more than $28 million from home care services.
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