A bipartisan group of Washington State Representatives led by Yakima Republican Norm Johnson and Tacoma Democrat Laurie Jinkins have introduced legislation to create a long-term care benefit for Washington state workers and seniors. The Long-Term Care Trust Act would establish a public trust, similar to unemployment insurance, which would fund a long-term care benefit open to all who pay into the program. If enacted, a small percentage would be deducted from Washington workers’ pay to fund the trust. People would pay while they’re working and be eligible to draw on the benefits of the trust after they’ve worked three of the past six years, or 10 years total. The legislation is intended to address a looming fiscal crisis faced by the state as the baby boom generation retires. Johnson says the state needs to prepare now, and believes this bill has “the right balance of personal and familial responsibility, consumer choice, and common sense.” The reform effort is broadly supported by a number of senior advocacy organizations. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for next Friday in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.