Lawsuit filed against Washington’s long-term care program, WA Cares Fund
The Associated Press OLYMPIA —

Opponents of a mandatory payroll tax to fund Washington state’s new long-term care program filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court seeking to stop the January start of the payroll premium for most employees in the state.

The suit, filed with the federal court for the Western District of Washington, was filed on behalf of three businesses in the state and six individuals. None of the individuals purchased a private, long-term care insurance plan before Nov. 1, the deadline to qualify for an exemption.

Under the program, called WA Cares Fund, workers will pay a premium of .58% of total pay per paycheck, meaning an employee with a salary of $50,000 will pay $290 a year. Starting Jan. 1, 2025, people who need assistance with at least three “activities of daily living” such as bathing, dressing or administration of medication, can tap into the fund to pay for things like in-home care, home modifications like a wheelchair ramp and rides to the doctor.

State of Idaho Cease and Desist Letter
Dear Attorney General Ferguson:
I write to respectfully request that Washington cease and desist from implementing or enforcing its Long-Term Care Program, RCW 50B.04, (the "Program") as drafted. The Program is discriminatory and unconstitutional as to Idaho residents who work in Washington. To avoid legal action, please ensure that Washington refrains from implementing or enforcing the Program against Idaho residents by: (1) recognizing that such enforcement violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Dormant Commerce Clause, and the Equal Protection Clause; and (2) creating an exemption for such individuals. The Program's significant constitutional violations render it legally unenforceable as to Idaho residents. I respectfully request that you provide legal guidance to the relevant state entities to avoid the need to litigate these issues and waste taxpayer funds.