Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Letter From Sadie

Sadie dressed as a princess on a cold day.

This was sent from Germany to me. See if you can read it. Sadie turned five in March.


Let's see that again.


Once more.


Sadie, we really do speak the same language. I love you. You only miss people you love.

What Do Senator Margarita Prentice And The "First Jim" Have In Common?

We could probably come up with several things here but the thing I was thinking about...and therefore what the right answer happens to be... is that they are both crossword puzzle geniuses!

Never one to sit around, Margarita has been known to plow through the hardest ones with ease. She laughs when you express admiration saying it just takes practice. She's humble...and a great person.

Jim is pretty good too. Last night I gave some effort to an L.A. Times puzzle and left it underneath the table lamp by the TV. Okay...I maintain it was not my best effort. I was tired and went to bed.

In the morning there was the filled in puzzle resting in the middle of the easy chair and very conspicuously placed I might add. The "First Jim" is not subtle.

Temporary Or Permanent? What Will The Taxes End Up Being?

Aren't WA Democrats Just Deadlocked Over Making New Tax Increases Permanent?
(Creative minds go so many places. This can be fantasy, fact or fallacy. We will know in a few days.PR)

Why is it that the majority party in WA State is still locked in budget negotiations in this ongoing special session?

While the general debate has been thought to be about the details of what taxes to raise and in what proportions, that may not be where the debate is settling. The train could be held up over whether or not to make these taxes permanent.

The House reportedly already has the votes to do this. And, the House wouldn't be “going there” if the governor hasn't already signaled her willingness to sign permanency. The Senate is only a few votes short of having the votes to once again break confidence with voters.

All session the Democrats have been talking “sun-setted” tax increases. Each tax bill already voted on has contained an expiration date. But, behind closed doors the further concern may be next year, the '11-'12 budget cycle. Likely to still be in the majority, how will they balance their budget then? Should they just move forward now with permanent taxes and take their lumps at the polls or should they just plan to increase taxes again next year and get through this election cycle as best as possible?

Then there is reality for the majority. Faced with the expected passage of I-1033 (the restoration of the 2/3 vote requirement to raise taxes) there won't be an opportunity to extend taxes next year. They have to permanently raise the taxes this year or plan to cut services and government jobs next year.

The governor recently stated that she will not call another special session. If the legislature does not finish up she will just cut government 20% across the board. She is threatening her majority now with what they will surely face later if they do not instate permanent taxes this year. This puts significant pressure on the legislature to take the plunge. If they don't, their own political base will punish them for not securing funding for the next budget cycle.

For Democrats, the dilemma is whether or not they will lose more members by enacting a permanent tax now or by cutting services and state jobs prior to the '12 election cycle. In any event, they want a higher and more steady tax flow to take them clear through the recession and beyond.

Yet they also want to be able to save Democratic incumbents in both the '10 and '12 elections. Who will make it through the '10 elections? How many surplus Democrat votes will they have left in the upcoming sessions? I suspect the tax debate has become very personal within the vaulted doors. That's a given.

The squeeze is on. The likelihood is that there will be permanent increases imposed. Democrats will suffer maybe just another loss or two but be better positioned in next year's difficult budget cycle when they will likely be restrained by down revenue and a 2/3 vote requirement.

After the repeal of the Taxpayer Protection Act ( I-960), the no go attempt at a state income tax, and the passage of many “temporary” tax increases, we are likely to have even more silence before the unveiling of this new permanent taxing plan. For the majority Democrats, backlash is feeling more like whiplash.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Reminder From Costco: Self Reliance Is Important

Last year at this time I encouraged everyone to plant a garden and execute a plan for self preparedness. I am reminded of that again. My on-line ad from Costco features freeze dried food for two. Start from seed and then freeze or can...or....forget the do-it-yourself stuff and just buy it and forget about it knowing you have squirreled something away. (You can't eat your gold or silver.)

Shelf Reliance THRIVE
3-month, 2-person Food Supply
2,515 Total Servings
54 #10 Cans
Item # 491491
Shipping & Handling included *

Shelf Reliance THRIVE
Fruit Variety Pack

Shelf Reliance THRIVE
Vegetable Variety Pack

Shelf Reliance THRIVE
Protein & Wheat Variety Pack

KING5 TV and KVI Radio...Air Poem

My light hearted poem about a statewide elected official driving drunk was picked up by KING TV and KVI radio among others. Please scroll down a couple of entries if you want to see it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Report From Grandfather Ron

Like many, Ron had a child taken in his family. His granddaughter was returned but the shock and trauma of how he and his family was treated by CPS has kept him involved.

Senator Roach

I hope you might post this as a new thread on your blog:

While it's true there many fine foster parents, I thought it was ironic that the very day that SB 6416 "died," Carole DeLeon was released from Pine Lodge Correctional Facility. Her foster son - Tyler DeLeon died in 2005 on the day he turned 7. The autopsy showed he weighed only 28 pounds.
DSHS is paying more than $6 million for the children to receive counseling and treatment for the abuse they suffered.

Myself and everyone in my network will support future efforts to give extended family some kind of power in the Dependency Courts as they currently have none. One must wonder if a grandmother or uncle could have intervened in the DeLeon case and perhaps saved his life.

Senator Roach's previous comments ring true. "CPS and its leadership does not want to change the status quo. Denise Revels Robinson did not want it changed."

Personally, I find the most positive way to create lasting change was the Armstrong/Roach measure to break behemoth DSHS up into 4 smaller agencies that would be easier to manage and therefore more accountable.

Ron Tussey- Spokane

Former GA Rep. Nancy Schaefer Found Dead

(Nancy was a leader in the movement to stop CPS abuses. Let us pray for her loved ones during this terrible tragedy. She was the mother of four sons and a daughter and had 13 grandchildren.)

Former Ga. Lawmaker, Husband Found Dead

HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. (MyFOX ATLANTA) - The bodies of former state senator Nancy Schaefer and her husband, Bruce were found Friday at their Habersham County home. Both had been shot.

The announcement was made around 7:30 p.m. Friday on the floor of the Georgia General Assembly.
Six GBI agents were at the home investigating at the request of the Habersham County Sheriff’s Department.

The preliminary investigation is looking at the case as a murder-suicide, but Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesperson John Bankhead did not have further details.
"Preliminarily, it looks like a murder-suicide," said Bankhead.

Schaefer, 73, was a former Atlanta mayoral candidate, as well as a two-term state senator who represented the 50th District.

Schaefer left the general assembly after losing a north Georgia Republican runoff in 2008.

Schaefer founded Family Concerns, Inc. in 1986. The non-profit foundation focused on opposition to abortion and gay marriage and fought for the public display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

State Rep. Rick Austin announced Schaefer’s death to a packed House chamber Friday night and led lawmakers in a moment of silence.

“Nancy Schaefer was a great lady, and she served Georgia and her constituents with honor and grace,” Austin, a Republican from Demorest, said.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pam's Fun Poems....Recap The Last Two Weeks Of Session

We are in special session to raise taxes. Here are my comments:

#5) Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-Spokane) is upset with Attorney General Rob McKenna (R) for going after Obama's federal health care mandate that trashes our 10th Amendment states rights.
Stomp your feet,
Slam your hands,
Nothin' gonna stop McKenna's plans!

#4) Vulnerable this year...there are several incumbent Senate Democrats who can not yet raise reelection money due to special session restrictions. But, their Republican challengers can.
Twiddle your thumbs,
Moan in hums,
Taxpayers wait to throw out the _____!

#3) Tim Eyman charges on with I-1053 aimed at reinstating the voter approved 2/3 majority vote requirement for tax increases that tax hiking Democrats just over-turned. (I am a co-sponsor of Eyman's new initiative.)
You can run,
You can hide,
Its a long told tale,
Raise our taxes and
You're out on a rail!

#2) In their inability to get their act together, ruling Democrats cause much more waste in government. The cost of session is one thing, but delaying cost savings (assuming there are some) wastes even more. D's have had months to figure this out!
We don't like haste,
We don't like waste,
The longer it takes says "cut and paste!"

And the Number One Special Session Fact is... drum roll please.....

#1) Randy Dorn (D), State Superintendent of Public Instruction, boys and girls...was caught drunk driving in front of an Orting school. He was coming home from a "community event." Attention math students. If the legal limit is .08 and your superintendent was driving at much was he over the limit? And, for special credit: Should he stay in office? (Hint: If he joins Supreme Court Justice Bobbi Bridge, and legislators Jack Cairnes, _______, __________ and ______ isn't it just OK to drive drunk " 'cause everyone else is doing it?" (The later is a values clarification question aimed at helping us all understand situational ethics.)
See Randy drive.
Randy can drive.
He drinks beer and can't really steer.
Can Randy stop in time?
Will Randy hit a child of mine?
I do not know Pam I am.
Will he pay a fine?
I do not know Pam I am.
Will he spend some time?
Will parents be blind?
Will voters be kind?
I do not know Pam I am.
But this we know for sure.
He probably has found no cure.
No matter Pam I am.
The papers will pass.
He will say mass.
The judge will defer.
His colleagues concur,
So Randy can drive.
See Randy drive.

Pam Roach Returns To Fight...Will Vote NO On Democrat Budget

Usually, I write late at night (it is 2:35 AM) because we keep long hours at our house.

Tonight, I have a jet lag issue :o) Jim and I went to see Captain John and his family directly after regular session ended. The trip had been in the works for months as JAG John managed to get some USAF time off.

The visit was not yet over and I cut my participation short to return to a "special" session in I can vote NO on a budget that raises taxes and does not get us any further in solving the state financial crisis that exists.

My political opponents, of course, were hoping I would not be around to vote. But, I have managed to do both: spend time with my wonderful family AND represent the voters of the 31st District.

I spent $2,155 of my own money (no taxpayer funds are ever used for personal travel) to get back here. Jim and I are not wealthy people. We both flew to the reunion for only $200 using my hard earned, over a very long period of time, AIR MILES.

The airline would not change my return date on my air mile ticket. They would not even credit me with the air mile return trip that I ended up not taking! Thanks Alaska Air Mile Program! So, I paid an exorbitant price to get back here! I was thinking of a line in the movie "Top Gun."

"You never, ever leave your wing man!" The truth is I go places where a wing man won't. But, I paraphrased it in my mind to get me back here.

In twenty years I have one of the best voting records ever. I missed a few votes this year because I was over in the House trying to work a deal with Rep. Kegi over CPS issues. Last year I was required to miss a day of votes for a skin cancer issue (covered here in PPR). When my dad was dying... I should have taken much more time than I did. That I didn't is a regret...and was one reason that I didn't totally cancel the trip to see John and his family.

State Senator Paull Shin (D-Edmonds) put it this way: "Your family comes first." Thank you Paull. It was the right decision to go. And, the family and I had a great time. In my mind it was also the right decision to leave my trip early and be here to vote.

Dear Readers...It was hard to leave the grandkids. I delivered the most fantastic tutu that Nordstroms had to offer for Sadie's 5th birthday. She danced all around the village house...singing songs she made up as she whirled and twirled. She thought she was a ballerina. She is magic to all of us. She is one of the reasons that I continue the fight.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reader With An Attitude Asks..."Just Who Are These Foster Extremists?"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Who Killed SB 6416?":

Please define "extremists in the foster movement"...cause that and terms like "the fosters" really boarder on hate speech.

You still havnt explained why relatives, DNA connections with the first set of crappy parents (AKA the FIRST people to screw up)
are so much better a placement than, in theory, trained and vetted "fosters"

Please aim your gun not at foster parents in general but DSHS for ignoring the rules and letting people who shouldn't have contact with children through the gate.

Thats not the "fosters" fault.

Again...there are many very fine foster parents. But, let me comment on this.

1. Extremists in the foster movement ( and I include DSHS higher ups because they seem to like the status quo) are those who think that the end justifys the means. They have no problem with the lies told to judges (please see Stuth coverage) by CPS, the AGs working for CPS, the CASAs, or the foster caretakers. They have decided what the outcome should be and so the truth be damned.

2. It is only extremism that allows the protection of the system we now have. Who in the world...would not give full attention...(bring in the State Patrol for God's sake) to protect children from this failed agency that makes so many fatal errors? (Please see KOMO coverage on the deaths. There is one a month and that does not count the physical and mental maiming.) Read about it! Every week it is a new case. Some parents reported five times for abuse and the children end up dying because nothing is done. And yet, CPS steals other children from families when no abuse is reported (see Stuth Case and others reported here). They seek out children aged 3, blond, blue-eyed, non-drug affected children from poor families who can't afford an attorney.

3. Extremists everywhere love power. They love their power and fight to keep it so they can impose their views on others. King County CASAs particularly don't like their power threatened or questioned.

4. Extremists would move children from one to another based on whom they think best deserves the child...without even consideration of the family. They are elitists. Go back to the Stuth Case. The ultimate lie came when the judge was not told that Alexis Stuth had been removed, for cause, from her foster person the night before the judge was planning to give Alexis to this woman from hell. (No, Reader With An Attitude...I really can't call her a foster mommy...there was a reason Alexis was removed! Please see previous PPR.) Only extremists with agenda would fight so hard to take a child and give her to a XXXXX and in doing so purposefully withhold vital information from the judge. There were a bunch in the room that day. All of them padding the foster adopt system. At least they were trying. Their own lies of omission hung them. Did anyone get fired over their lies? No. It is OK to lie in a courtroom over children. That is the rule of foster extremists.

4. Extremists would scream bloody murder if someone lied about them in court...but have no problem if the child's family is cheated through lies in a courtroom.

5. Extremists would never fire a social worker for lying. (Please see Willard and Stuth cases in this blog.)

6. Alexis Stuth was removed "for cause." An extremist turned around and almost immediately permanently place another child with this unfit woman. Only an extremist CPS pro-foster adopt system would do what defies reason...turn around and do with another child what they couldn't do with Alexis.

7. Extremists ignore the law of "place with families first." In this state that law is disregarded when there is a child that meets the desired list (please see above).

Other comments...There are "foster parents" and their are "foster parents." are just over sensitive. I wish you showed as much care for the children. Why aren't you banging on the big steel door of government to save children? Too busy defending the system...right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Who Killed SB 6416?

SB 6416 was the will of the Senate, but not the House. The House leadership thinks that foster parents should have equal standing when it comes to permanent placement of children. And, that means permanent placement over the relatives if the foster parents were the last ones to have the child or if government thinks it is in the best interest of the child to put the child somewhere else. Keeping in mind all this blog has covered...the lies in court...lies from CASAs....lies from CPS...the not bothering to look for relatives but going straight to the foster, I don't agree with the House.

Yes, we have some very good and well meaning foster parents. For them we can be thankful. But, we also have some who are the end game of government's redistribution of children. It is impossible to know the story of Alexis Stuth (see KING and not understand that some very bad things are happening with the support of taxpayer funded government.

I promised you that SB 6416 would not pass as the House amended it and it didn't. Senator Jim Hargrove (D), Chairman of the Human Services and Corrections Committee, and I agree in many, many matters regarding CPS and child placement. Without going into the details of the final days... we would not have passed the bill because the Senate was not going to agree in the House amendments. This bill, with the House amendments, would have actually placed foster parents above relatives! It was a terrible bill with the House amendment. I tried up until the final hour to get Chairman Rep. Ruth Kagi (D)to recede from the House amendments and she would not do that. She favors best interest of the child over relatives and seems to believe that the last one who has the child has the bonding issue sewed up.

After talking with House leaders several things were evident. One is that extremists in the foster movement have the ear of leadership in the House committee. Rep. Roger Goodman (D) was the one who quickly found SB 6416 as a vehicle upon which to amend his wording giving preference to fosters over relatives. Several in the House are close to a foster lobbyist that I know does not represent all foster caregivers.

The House staff is very liberal on this issue. They have influence in the process.

CPS and its leadership does not want to change the status quo. The ombudsman for the department wanted to change the law...but the department didn't want it changed. Denise Revels Robinson did not want it changed.

I am waiting to learn the outcome of some of the language in the bill that may become law. It was amended into another bill. If that bill is signed into law then some of my language in the Alexis Stuth Bill was successful.

On another note...

I have posted a more than usual number of comments over the last couple of days. Others I may hold and bring forward so I can make specific comments where we can all see the message from the reader.

Friday, March 12, 2010

SB 6416 Dies A Silent Death

There is a story to this but it is 12:35 AM

Briefly, Rep. Ruth Kagi and the House staff want foster "caregivers" on the same level as relatives. Senator Hargrove and I....don't agree. So, we did not agree with the House BAD amendment to the Senate bill. Hargrove and I agreed the bill should not move forward so it was not brought up for a concurrence vote in the Senate and it died on the calendar as was planned if we couldn't get it changed.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago..this state will only change through the courts. The current administration likes the way it is. Since Denise Revels Robinson didn't like the bill I guess we have to say she is a nice lady...but not interested in change. None of them are.

This morning I got an email from Bari Willard. Region 3 left her a phone message and an email saying her granddaughter would not be able to visit several times because she would be in Mexico. "So too bad for you," was the real message. There was no mention of getting added time to make up for this loss. It was very cold and as always...shows a preference that "Lilly" really doesn't need to see the Willards at all.

I emailed Denise this morning and politely asked if there would be make-up time. She was prompt is reply. Region 3 was in error and she apologised. There would be make-up time.

To this I say "Thank you" to Denise. But, the endemic problem exists. How in the world can people do what they did and not offer make-up time in the first place? It is beyond the thought process of most people.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CPS Cancels Visits With No Make-up Time For GPs....AGAIN

"Please be advised the (Great-grandparent.....) has scheduled a trip to Mexico with (your granddaughter) from (Date given) to (Date given). The visits on (Three dates given) will therefore be cancelled. I left this same message on your cell phone this morning and this email is to follow up to ensure you did receive the message. If you have any questions, you can reach me at 360-647-6101."

Well I guess they now inform the Willards. They don't offer make-up visits. They have already decided where the "bonding" will be.

N. Y. Judge Rules For Family...It ALL Rests With The Judge In WA

There was something here (I just deleted it) that was sent to me by one of our friends here in WA State and I printed it. It looked like a news article but was apparently was not. In any title stands...It All Rests With Judges. And that means our state Supreme Court Nine.


Whisking Car

Someone made a comment about my previous blog and my being whisked away in a car. They wanted to know why I didn't have my own car. I added a line to the blog to avoid misunderstandings, but...

I did use my own car. I didn't have to. The Senate has a service but I don't use it. Instead, my aide and friend was driving my 2002 Alero. She drove me to the ceremony so I could spend 10 minutes at the wonderful, and "important to us" family event....and be quickly shuttled back so I would miss as few votes as possible.

I would have loved to have stayed for the whole thing. I did not. I would have loved to have gone to the family dinner at a local restaurant that followed. I did not.

I am not being defensive here...just setting the record straight.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

There Is A New Lieutenant In The State Patrol AND Session Winds Down

Today, I went to the General Administration Building for the State Patrol's promotion ceremony. The room was packed and uniforms filled the back of the room. I was introduced and applauded. But, I was there to observe.

The highlight was seeing my son-in-law promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. His family flew in and we managed to get the front row! I am very proud of Mark. He is such a smart guy, hard working and a great dad! Congratulations, Mark!

I had a car waiting (it was MY car...a 2002 Alero being driven by my aide and friend so I wouldn't miss votes) and was whisked back to the legislative building only a few blocks away. Session is suppose to end in two days. It was here in the PRR that a special session was first predicted. (I am still hoping I am wrong!)

Taxes, taxes...its all about what form and how much.

Voting at this stage is mostly on concurrences. The House changed what we sent them and we have to either concur in the House amendments or not. Some of these votes are final passage. have to watch what the House did to make sure you are voting the way your district would have you vote.

During the down time...some of us gathered in the Senate cafeteria. To get there you go down a narrow winding Harry Potter gray marble staircase to the second floor. Senator Karen Frasier (we traveled to China together), Senator Don Benton (candidate for U.S. Senate), Senator Tim Sheldon (we try to get away for an outside hamburger each year) and I told GREAT SENATE GOSSIP STORIES OF THE PAST. Yes...they were GREAT STORIES!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Senator Tim Shelton Is A Stand Up, Stand Out Guy

After working Saturday and Sunday we were in today at 9 AM.

I called a radio station on the way in this morning. They were listing the Dems who didn't vote for the tax budget suggesting they had been let off the bad tax vote because they were facing tough elections this year. Of course that is true, but not of Democrat Tim Shelton. He REALLY DID OPPOSE THEM!

And, good for Tim! He is a stand out in his caucus. :o) Actually, the last time he ran for reelection his caucus campaign committee ran someone against him in the primary. In his Democrat district west of Olympia...the primary IS the race. So he fended off the D leadership. Then as if to make the point again...he ran and won a seat on the Mason County Commission! Yes, he holds two elective offices.

He's tall and unassuming. He is a forester, goes shrimping, and is well travelled. He is principled. Actually...that's pretty refreshing!

Alexis Stuth Bill In Conference

Today the Senate voted "not to concur" with the House amendments. We will now see if something can be worked out. Session ends on Thursday night.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Bill Sails Through Idaho House

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Child Welfare: Idaho close to passing law giving rights to grandparents raising children

In Idaho, the 20,000 children being raised by their grandparents are closer to having a new law on their side. Today, the Idaho House passed the "grandparenting" bill (HB 610), serving to make it easier for grandparents to become foster parents to their grandchildren. AARP, which strongly supports the measure introduced by Representative Sharon Block, applauded the House for today's action.

"This legislation will help children who've already seen difficult times have a strong family foundation to build their futures upon," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho. "AARP commends Representative Block and the bill's co-sponsors for their efforts to ensure children from broken homes don't lead broken lives."

The "grandparenting" bill would place grandparents and other relatives at the top of the list for consideration as foster parents. The legislation was co-sponsored by Senator Patti Anne Lodge and Representatives Richard Wills and Lynn Luker.

Key provisions of the "grandparenting" bill include:

* Establishing a priority list for foster care, placing fit and willing grandparents and other relatives first in line for consideration.
* Expediting the process for foster care approval for relatives when it's in the best interest of the child.
* Giving grandparents better standing to become foster parents of their grandchildren when the parent has failed to maintain a relationship with the child for one year.

"In the midst of a legislative session filled with so much bad news, it's reassuring to see good legislation like this pass with such widespread support," added Wordelman. "AARP urges the Senate to pass the bill and send it the Governor."

Grandparents raising their grandchildren represent the fastest growing type of family in the nation. Nationally, 6.6 million grandchildren live in households headed by grandparents, while another 1.5 million live in homes headed by other relatives. In many cases grandparents are responsible for meeting all the child's needs without the legal authorization to do so.

AARP is Idaho's largest membership organization with over 180,000 members.

Rainer School And Respite Center In The Budget

It was raining pretty hard when Rainier employees stood in the cold for hours along Hwy 410. Here I am joining in on the sign waving.

In this terrible economy and with revenues down...I worked hard along with state employees and Friends of Rainier to keep the Buckley, WA facility for the developmentally disabled open. We may have one or two of the houses close. And, there is an assault on the assets of the facility. But, we have kept the doors open. More as I get in session tomorrow.

After Saturday's session I attended the North West Turkey Federation banquet. It was a long day and I have to go back in on Sunday so will say good-night now.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Why The Democrats Kited A State Income Tax...

Senate Dems Use Audience Counters To Vote In Caucus...that is the rumor.

The reason to bring up the income tax? If it were to be on the fall ballot it would be a motivator for Acorn voters and the far left to get to the polls. With the new 2/3 vote Eyman initiative sure to be on the ballot and Democrats not likely to turn out to vote in November...putting an income tax on the ballot would create the class warfare needed to get D's to the polls. It won't work...Take away the Obama surge we saw at the polls in '08 and the D's will not have the same turnout in '10. They need those far left voters and the backlash was too great to even try another launch!

And...I can only tell you that I heard it on the Senate floor.

To count votes in caucus the D's have hand held counters like in the focus groups. (In fact, since no longer in use...they could be from the Obama campaign. Really! They aren't now being used so why not share!)

Our D's use the counter so no one has to expose themselves to the rest of the caucus. They have a huge majority but all the D's (except Omeig) who are in swing districts don't want to take the tax votes.

After the count is taken it is presumed that their leadership knows how close they are to getting a majority on a certain issue.

I am not sure if they used the counters before sending their press release on the income tax. If they did...I'm thinking one of the Republican counter intelligence people might have tampered with the switches. In any event...the more they talk about a state income tax the more voters are incensed!

I am a strong NO on an income tax and I don't think the clickers are doing a good job for them.

The Thrill Of Victory, The Pride Of Accomplishment

AND THE WINNER IS...LINDSAY! The competition was pretty steep: the whole kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. Lindsay drew a contemporary "City Scenes" piece and won the contest. She is in kindergarten. I think I will have to commission a drawing....I thought the style was something an adult might try for...a Picasso look. Lindsay has moved to Colorado so I went up on the stage and received the award for her.
I am the luckiest one on the Senate floor. Grandma loves you Lindsay!

Alexis Stuth Bill

The bill is now in conference. If an agreement can be reached then there is a good chance we will have a bill. If not, then the bill will be left to die. Senator Hargrove and Rep. Kagi and a few others will meet. I will be there. Staff will be there. Think of it as an operating room with specialists around the patient. And for Pete's sake cheer up out there!!!! If we get a bill it will be a good one. If we don't get a bill it would have been a bad one! Like a good doctor...I will do no harm...and try to keep others from doing any :o)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It Was Suppose To Be Just A Few Quick Holes...

The Senate Ways and Means Committee today announced and then voted out a measure to...CREATE A STATE INCOME TAX. Trouble is the public heard about it! A couple people were driving down I-5, heard about the upcoming hearing, turned around and headed to Olympia to testify! They were MAD!

Alexis Stuth Bill Progress

First...part of my original bill was taken and amended into another bill that will be passed into law. So, the work we have done will not all be left behind. It will not have Alexis's name on it. This happened because some of my bill was "easy" and some not. The chair, Rep. Ruth Kagi, did not want to lose the good language that was less controversial in my bill...and that leaves the tough part to still negotiate.

The bill is currently in the House and it has been amended to place foster parents on equal footing with biological relatives. The federal government and existing state law says: Families First. In reality...that isn't what always happens. And, in some cases it shouldn't happen. Foster parents already have standing in court. So, the bill does not now possess the original intent.

Rep. Ruth Kagi and I talked yesterday about the bill. She came to me which I appreciated. There are some well meaning Republicans in the House who have an amendment favoring foster parents over biological relative waiting for the bill should it be brought up for a vote.

The amendment is being sponsored by Rep. (******) who is himself a foster parent. He sees the kids who come from bad families. He does not seem to acknowledge the fact that not all family members are bad. Again....some are bad, but some are not. Legislators need to look outside their own experiences to see the larger picture. And, legislators need to have a commitment to our family structure as does the federal and state law. Right now, according to Rep. Kagi, foster parents have standing and bio family does not. So where is the fairness in this? Seems to me that our existing law operates outside of the law. Hopefully, we can get this straightened out. As I have been saying...we need to get cases to the State Supreme Court.

This blog has taken the correct position. There are abuses on both sides of the CPS system. CPS does not do enough to help some kids (1 death a month in CPS cases) nor are they placing with relatives when they should. CPS does steal kids from good families. They were almost successful in the Stuth Case.

The bill in the House has not been voted on by the body. Do not worry about the current form of the bill. I haven't posted about it because there are too many moving pieces right now.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lured To The Fray... A Social Worker Speaks Up...

Hello Dear Social Worker. I appreciate what you are saying. the cases I have been discussing...the relatives HAVE stepped in to help. The department takes the child from the grandparents when the grandparents have done nothing wrong....And third party custody??? I think the Stuths were the first in decades to have third party custody.

(A self identified reader has comments. In the Senate we worked into the evening and will work late tomorrow. So, I am going to bed. Jim is staying up to see Mitt Romney on Letterman.)

I am a social worker for the department. The Ombudsman's office needs more power, that I agree with. However, DCFS needs to change from the top down. The "good ole boy and girl" network is alive and well in DCFS in every region. There will be no changes in DCFS until it is no longer profitable for the higher ups to cover up the abuses in the department frequently perpetuated by the higher ups themselves.
The phrase "childnapping" appears often in this and other blogs. CPS can't remove children when there is no evidence of abuse or neglect. That's the bottom line. When a child needs to be removed from their home, relatives who will PROTECT THE CHILD, NOT THE PARENTS need to step up. Too often relatives will think the department is wrong while turning a blind eye to what is happening to the child and continue making excuses. There are many, many children in this state who are in guardianships or third party custodies with relatives who stepped in before the department had to. They are to be commended for putting the safety of the child first before family. I've seen case after case when parents have been arrested for drugs, alcohol offenses, domestic violence, assaults, and other crimes and relatives are "surprised" when CPS has to get involved. Where are the concerned relatives? Arrests are not secret. I've read statements on these blogs such as "I wasn't convicted." Well, guess what? Many people aren't convicted of crimes they've been arrested for or they plea bargain down from the original charge. This does not mean they are innocent; it just means they probably had a good lawyer. Meanwhile, the children continue to be subjected to their parents' behaviors.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even concerned "suitable persons in the community": if you know there are problems with parents, please protect those children before we have to step in. Anyone can go to court and file a third party custody petition. There are safeguards in place to prevent frivolous custody actions but if parents are unable to protect their own children, family or friends need to step in. If more families put children first before the parents, maybe there wouldn't be a need for CPS any longer

Monday, March 1, 2010

CPS Positions Itself To Take Another Child....

There are too many loopholes between CPS and the judge's directives. New case? Let's hope this get settled...FAST!

"On February 10, 2010 my niece's son was taken into state custody in Port Townsend. She did not have a hearing until February 18,2010. At the time the judge told CPS to expedite having her son placed with me.

I took custody of him on 02/20/10. We were told we had to have our fingerprints done within 10 days. We went to the Bonney Lake Police department only to learn they couldn't help us. On February 22, I went to the Port Townsend CPS office and was told they had to send off a form and obtain a number before we could make an appointment to have our fingerprints scanned.

On Friday, February 26 at 5:15 pm, I was given the form to have this done. After trying to schedule an appointment, I discovered we didn't have the correct ID number for the Port Townsend office. I finally got the correct information on Saturday, February 27 at 10:00 pm. I was able to schedule an appointment to have our fingerprints done on Wednesday, March 3 at 9:00.

This is a full two days after they are supposed to have the results back in their office. After spending hours trying to find out if the 10 days could be extended, I was told by the supervisor there is a possibility the child could be picked up from
me tomorrow.

I am very concerned about the way this case is being handled. Is there anything you can do to help?"