Washington Senate OKs temporary $35 cap on 30-day insulin supply
OLYMPIA — A measure passed by the Senate would cap the cost of a 30-day supply of insulin to $35 for one year, starting next year.
The Democratic-led chamber passed the measure on a bipartisan 48-1 vote Tuesday. The lone vote against it was Republican Sen. Mike Padden, of Spokane Valley. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.
The current out-of-pocket limit for a 30-day supply of insulin has been $100 since January 2021, under a law passed by the Washington Legislature in 2020. That law is set to expire Jan. 1, 2023, which is when the new proposal approved by the Senate would take effect.
The new limit would end Jan. 1, 2024. The extension is meant to give more time for a work group created in 2020 to finish its work to come up with a long-term solution for insulin costs.
Portland and trade unions reach deal averting strike
PORTLAND, Ore. — The head of the District Council of Trade Unions said Wednesday that union members have approved an offer by Portland officials, avoiding a major strike of city workers slated to start Thursday.
City negotiators made their final offer to the coalition of labor groups last week which included a 1.6% cost-of-living adjustment retroactive to July 1, 2021, and an additional 5% cost-of-living adjustment this July, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
The approximately 1,100 city workers who make up District Council of Trade Unions voted on the offer, and the tally was announced Wednesday with a majority of members voting to accept the city offer, according to DCTU head Rob Martineau.
The District Council of Trade Unions is includes six trade unions representing about 16% of Portland’s city government workforce, so a strike could have had a wide-reaching impact on basic city services.
The city and the labor coalition have been in talks over wages for nearly two years. The union has argued that the adjustments for cost of living proposed by city negotiators fell short compared to rising inflation.
Washington reopens website for free COVID-19 tests
OLYMPIA — Washington residents can again order up to five at-home COVID-19 tests that will be shipped to their doorstep free-of-charge while supplies last.
The Washington State Department of Health announced Tuesday that sayyescovidhometest.org, the website where Washington residents can order free COVID-19 rapid-antigen tests, has reopened. Nearly 1.5 million tests are available, which are expected to serve 290,000 households.
Tests are expected to arrive within a few days after being ordered. The only information needed to order a test is your name and address.
This marks the third time tests have been made available through the website. Since the site first opened Jan. 21, some 1.5 million tests have been distributed to nearly 500,000 homes, according to a news release.
Pedestrian hit by vehicle in Tacoma sustains life-threatening injuries
TACOMA — A 29-year-old man was struck by a vehicle Tuesday night in Tacoma and taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.
The collision occurred north of the Tacoma Dome in the 1000 block of Puyallup Avenue between McKinley Avenue East and East K Street. The Tacoma Police Department reported the incident on Twitter at about 10:20 p.m. Police shut down that part of the road while officers and the Collision Investigation Team responded.
A 37-year-old woman driving a Ford sedan was traveling east when a man ran across the road and was hit. Police said the driver didn’t see the pedestrian, and no citation was issued. There was no sign that the woman was driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Police didn’t have an update on the man’s condition Wednesday morning.
Officials identify homicide victim dropped off at Tacoma hospital
TACOMA — A 40-year-old man who was fatally shot Monday at a Tacoma motel and then dropped off at a local hospital was identified Wednesday by the Pierce County Medical Examiner.
Joshua Ferrell, of Tacoma, died of a gunshot wound to the shoulder, according to a news release from the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office. The office ruled his death a homicide.
Police said Ferrell was shot in the 8800 block of South Hosmer Street in the city’s South End. Officers responded about 10 a.m. to that area and the hospital where Ferrell was dropped off.
A woman drove Ferrell to the hospital where he later died. It’s unclear how she knew Ferrell, but police said they have been in contact with her.
Tacoma Police Department spokesperson Wendy Haddow said detectives believe Ferrell was shot inside a motel room. Police haven’t determined what led up to the shooting, and it’s not clear whether the victim knew the shooter.
The man’s death was the sixth homicide in the city this year.