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Washington votes to expand caregiver training again

OLYMPIA — Long-term care workers will get more training and face stiffer background checks under an initiative approved by voters.

Unofficial results show Initiative 1163 passing Tuesday night with about two-thirds support. Voters previously approved similar rules in 2008, but lawmakers had delayed implementation because of budget cuts.

It’s not clear how the Legislature will pay for the initiative, which is projected to cost about $18 million over the next two years. Lawmakers are currently looking for $2 billion in cuts, including further reductions in education funding at all levels.

The initiative includes 75 hours of paid training for long-term care workers, instead of the currently required 35 hours. All new workers would undergo federal background checks, instead of state background checks.

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