With all respect to those in office I would like to start with this, I am not against the program itself and I understand the intentions behind it. What I will say is, some of the worse things have been done with the best intentions. This seems to be one of them due to the lack of thought put into it. This should be a voluntary program for those who wish or choose to pay into it. It should also cover all who choose to pay into it not just if you have worked 820 hrs or more. We have already in place programs like LNI Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Affordable Care Act, and other insurance agencies that provide this kind of coverage or something similar. What about people who have already paid for this type of insurance with other agencies? Now they are having to pay twice. This seems like another program that most taxpayers are going to pay into and few are going to use or will be able to really benefit from. The thing that I don't like about these programs is how the money moves in and out is never transparent. How can we be certain that state reps will not dip into this fund to cover other expenses, use the money fraudulently, or abuse it? How will the activity and finances used in this program be reported to all WA residents? What checks and balances, audits, and controls are in place to prevent abuse by the employees and the state? How do we know that the overhead for the program will not become bloated?
The chances of people who fall into the exact circumstances to claim these benefits seem too low, and yet all have to pay to have such a large program created and burden the people of Washington even more.
There are already too many mandatory state-funded programs and high taxations in Washington. This is just adding to the growing problem and people more education, not more financial assistance. They need to be helped to learn to be responsible with their money, save their money, be frugal with spending, plan for the future, live within their means, avoid going into debt and take precautions to protect themselves financially in case of emergencies. If people are not willing to be grown adults, why should everyone else be responsible to pay for them?
Washington has too many people on state aid as it is, and this state aid doesn't really help better the lives of those on it, it more enables people not to move forward, to become more stagnant, or digress instead of progressing. Some people abuse programs and will intentionally keep their situation destitute, to remain on gov/state-funded housing, food stamps, income stipends, etc. just to continue to get aid. Programs should be created to only teach and educate people on how to maneuver themselves in better situations, so they can have the ability to handle unforeseen events. The state doesn't need to manage this for the majority of people.
I only ask that we are given a choice to opt into or out of this program. Leave it up to each individual to pay into it if they want. And give it to all who pay into it regardless of how long they work. These would be the two major changes I see that need to be made. By making this mandatory, it has the appearance that the state is just finding another way to generate revenue for other agendas not disclosed to the people.