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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 83,682

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

New Texas lawsuit accuses Biden administration of threatening state's health care funding to force

New Texas lawsuit accuses Biden administration of threatening state’s health care funding to force Medicaid expansion

by Karen Brooks Harper, Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration Friday to reinstate an eight-year extension to a federal health care funding agreement, worth billions of dollars annually and set to expire next year, that the state uses to help pay for health care for uninsured Texans.

Last month, federal health officials rescinded the Trump-era extension to the 1115 waiver agreement — which Texas has had with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services since 2011 and is up for review every few years — and ordered Texas to collect public input, as the agreement requires, while it renegotiates a new extension beyond its current October 2022 expiration date.

The decision did not stop the funding in the current waiver, which will continue to provide $3.87 billion in annual funding for 2021 and 2022 to partly offset free care provided by Texas hospitals to the uninsured, and to pay for innovative health care projects that serve low-income Texans, often for mental health services.

The extension, granted in the waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency, would have continued hospital reimbursements until September 2030 but allowed the innovation fund to expire.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/14/texas-health-care-paxton-lawsuit-medicaid/

As rates of stoned drivers increase, law enforcement face challenges

According to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey published in 2019, nearly 70% of Americans think it’s unlikely a driver will get caught by police for driving while high on marijuana.

Additionally, 14.8 million drivers report getting behind the wheel within one hour after using marijuana in the 30 days before they took the survey.

Since Washington state passed Initiative 502 to legalize recreational marijuana, rates of drivers under the influence of cannabis and involved in fatal collisions have risen at an alarming rate.

According to another AAA Foundation survey, the estimated percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who were THC-positive in Washington state rose to 21.4 percent by 2017.

Read more: https://www.seattleweekly.com/news/as-rates-of-stoned-drivers-increase-law-enforcement-face-challenges/

Change of name, mascots approved at three Spokane schools in light of concerns

The Spokane Public Schools board made it official Wednesday night: The North Central Indians mascot will soon be retired.

Also by a unanimous vote, the board approved a name change at Sheridan Elementary and new mascot to replace the Chiefs at Garry Middle School.

The changes at NC and Sheridan had been in the works since last year, with widespread school and community support for both.

While some could argue that a new state law would have banned the NC and Garry mascots anyway, board President Jerrall Haynes didn’t see it that way.

Read more: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/may/13/change-of-name-mascots-approved-at-three-spokane-s/
(Spokane Spokesman-Review)

Washington state expands 'good Samaritan' law to protect volunteers in emergencies, disasters

Washington state has expanded its “good Samaritan” law to protect volunteers who help others during emergencies or natural disasters.

HB Bill 1209, sponsored by Rep. Dan Bronoske, D-Lakewood, passed both chambers of the Legislature this session with unanimous bipartisan support.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed it into law on April 16. It will take effect on July 25.

The law states that a volunteer won’t be liable for civil damages while providing nonmedical care at the scene of an emergency or disaster unless the act rises to the level of “gross negligence” or “willful or wanton misconduct.”

Previously the good Samaritan law only covered medical response. The Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs began pushing for the expansion last year, as volunteers became concerned about the limitation.

Read more: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/may/14/washington-state-expands-good-samaritan-law-to-pro/
(Spokane Spokesman-Review)

Tacoma judge ordered to remove himself from 'entangled' case that caused rift in court

A Pierce County judge has ordered that a Tacoma Municipal Court judge recuse himself from the case of a man who has been caught up in a judicial dispute that is before the state Supreme Court.

The man has been waiting a year and four months to be sentenced in Municipal Court.

“The length of the delay is excessive,” Superior Court Judge Thomas Quinlan said at a hearing May 7.

This week Quinlan signed an order granting the man’s request for a writ of mandamus, ordering that Municipal Court Judge David Ladenburg recuse himself from the case so that the defendant can be sentenced by another judge May 17.

“He need not be, should not be, and cannot be left in legal and constitutional limbo,” Quinlan said, acknowledging that the man’s request was an “extraordinary remedy.”

Read more: https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article251387048.html
(Tacoma News Tribune)

Juneteenth becomes an official, paid holiday for state employees in Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee has officially declared Juneteenth a state holiday in Washington.

He signed a slate of bills on Thursday including House Bill 1016, making June 19 a paid day off for state workers starting in 2022.

Juneteenth — also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day — marks the day when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 and informed the last enslaved African Americans there that they were free.

Inslee said he was honored to sign the “joyous bill” during a signing ceremony at the state capitol.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/juneteenth-becomes-an-official-paid-holiday-for-state-employees-in-washington/

New Washington state law makes drug possession a misdemeanor

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The jeans were from American Eagle, via Goodwill, and they were too short for their new owner, 6-foot Shannon Bowman.

So Bowman stitched a couple inches of denim onto the bottom of the legs and put them on for the first time two days after her friend had given them to her. She didn’t notice the tiny, nearly empty baggie of methamphetamine in the coin pocket.

That fact more than four years later would lead to a Washington state Supreme Court decision striking down Washington’s drug possession law; the expected vacation of tens of thousands of criminal convictions dating back decades; and the overhaul of the state’s approach to drug possession signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday.

“It’s cool there’s a lot of people who are going to have a second chance to make things right,” Bowman said in a recent interview. “Hopefully they go down a good road.”

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/new-washington-state-law-makes-drug-possession-a-misdemeanor/

Oklahoma governor booted from Tulsa Race Massacre commission

Source: AP

TULSA, Okla. — The commission formed to observe the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre announced Friday that it had booted Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt from his seat on the panel a week after he signed a bill outlawing the teaching of some race and racism concepts in public schools.

A statement from the commission did not indicate the reason for the parting, and a spokeswoman said the commission had no further comment. However, commission project manager Phil Armstrong this week had sharply criticized the Republican governor for signing a bill into law that prohibits the teaching of so-called critical race theory in Oklahoma schools.

"The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commissioners met Tuesday and agreed through consensus to part ways with Governor Stitt," the commission's statement said.

It went on to say that while the commission "is disheartened to part ways with Governor Stitt, we are thankful for the things accomplished together." It also said, "No elected officials, nor representatives of elected officials, were involved in this decision."

Read more: https://www.startribune.com/oklahoma-governor-booted-from-tulsa-race-massacre-commission/600057395/

Inslee, Murray, Cantwell oppose Simpson plan to remove dams

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Washington state's top Democrats have come out against a proposal from U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River and replace their benefits as part of a huge infrastructure bill being crafted by the Biden administration.

Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantrell said more work is needed on a comprehensive solution to save endangered salmon runs.

The proposal had gained the support of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., as well as many tribes, after it was announced last winter.

Republican members of Washington’s congressional delegation oppose Simpson’s plan.

Read more: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/business/national-business/article251415753.html

COVID-19 outbreak temporarily closes Vancouver call center

Public Health authorities said the Spectrum Communications call center in Vancouver has been temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak that has resulted in 29 confirmed and two possible cases at the business.

Public Health spokeswoman Marissa Armstrong said in an email late Friday that the first case was reported in mid-April, with the most recent case reported Friday.

The business was closed effective Wednesday and will undergo a deep cleaning, according to Armstrong. She said the business will also consult with Labor & Industries prior to reopening.

“The facility will reopen once these steps are completed and employees have been cleared to return to work,” Armstrong said.

Read more: https://www.columbian.com/news/2021/may/14/covid-19-outbreak-temporarily-closes-vancouver-call-center/
(Vancouver Columbian)
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