House approves WA Cares Fund transparency bill sponsored by Rep. Kelly Chambers

The state House has approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Kelly Chambers that would increase transparency and access to information for individuals participating in the Washington State Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program, also known as the WA Cares Fund.

At the heart of House Bill 2271 is the creation of a secure internet portal by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), which would serve as a centralized platform for participants to access critical program information such as:

  • The number of hours the employee was reported to have worked in the previous calendar year.
  • Whether the employee has worked the required minimum number of hours in the current year, as well as the total number of years an employee has worked the minimum number of hours.
  • The projected benefit level for the employee at age 75.
  • Program information, including how to become eligible for benefits, how the contribution system works, current benefit and contribution levels, how to check and correct information, and critical updates.

Under the bill, the portal would be required to be up and running by January 1, 2026. Beginning April 1, 2026, and annually thereafter, individuals enrolled in the program would receive a personalized program summary statement through the secure internet portal.

Chambers, R-Puyallup, says House Bill 2271 is all about transparency.

“Regardless of how one feels about the WA Cares Fund and its associated payroll tax, this bill is about ensuring those enrolled in the program have easy access to information about their participation and projected benefits,” said Chambers. “Transparency is fundamental to building trust, and that’s what this bill is about. I am encouraged by the unanimous support given yesterday by the House and look forward to advocating for the bill’s passage over in the Senate.”

House Bill 2271 now heads to the Senate for further deliberation.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov