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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

'Sandwich generation' lauds WA's long-term care savings program

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Monday, November 20, 2023   

Washingtonians with kids and older parents in need of care are praising the peace of mind the state's new retirement savings program is providing them.

Working, middle-aged people caring for kids and their parents are considered members of the sandwich generation. The WA Cares Fund will provide benefits so that people can pay for long term care.

Kristin Hyde said her father needs at-home care and would have benefited from the fund.

She said she worries that without the fund, her pre-existing condition would have kept her from receiving coverage.

"I even make a decent income," said Hyde, "but I know that as a working mom with a kid in college, it's really impossible for me to set aside tens of thousands of dollars into a safety nest egg in case I need care some day."

Starting in 2026, Washingtonians will have access to up to $36,500 in benefits from the WA Cares Fund. Workers started automatically contributing a little more than 0.5% of their paychecks into the fund in July 2023.

Rivka Burstein-Stern has two children and her parents live with her. She said she's lucky that her parents are able to support themselves.

"It is scary to think how financially ruinous it can be," said Burstein-Stern, "if there's not support to give them the care that they need."

Dana Barnett has a child and parents who don't yet need care. But she said it's stressful to think about and she's thankful the WA Cares Fund will one day help her.

"I can just imagine it being so helpful," said Barnett, "and it gives me a sense of relief just thinking about it being out there for myself and also for others in my community."



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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

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