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Kilmer supports government audits

State Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) gave his first speech on the house floor this month in support of a bill that would allow for a periodic assessment of the efficiency of the state government.

“Citizens here in Washington demand – and deserve – efficient and effective use of their tax dollars,” Kilmer said. “This bill was a big step in the right direction.”

House Bill 1064 would allow the state auditor, along with input from selected citizens, to develop a strategy for auditing the state government.

“If money isn’t being spent wisely or efficiently, we should want to know,“ Kilmer said in his speech. “And if money is being spent wisely and there are things that are having an impact, we should want to know that, too.

“Performance audits won’t solve all of our problems but they will help us identify which solutions are working and which aren’t.

“By helping us become better stewards of the peoples’ money, performance audits will help us do more for the citizens of Washington in the most cost-effective way possible.”

According to Kilmer, HB-1064 passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote. It is currently being considered in the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee.

Kilmer’s other bill concerns prescription medications.

Although the debate over whether or not to allow prescription drug users to purchase their medicines in Canada continues on the federal level, Kilmer said he is working on behalf of Washington state residents, especially seniors, who cannot afford their medicine — a story he heard all too frequently on the campaign trail.

Kilmer is a sponsor of HB 1194, which would allow Washington state to buy prescription drugs in bulk from Canada. The bill passed the House of Representatives with 56 affirmative votes and 17 dissenting votes.

It is currently being considered in the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee.

Kilmer’s bill, HB-1316, which would give private pharmacies the ability to buy medicines, wholesale, from America’s neighbor to the north. This bill is in it’s second reading in the House of Representatives’ Health Care

Kilmer’s fellow 26th District Rep. Pat Lantz (D-Gig Harbor), is a sponsor of HB 1168, which allows Canadian pharmacies to be licensed in Washington as long as they meet all of the state’s safety requirements.

The bill is also in its second reading in the House’s Health Care Committee.

Kilmer said these bills are necessary because of the rising costs of prescription drugs and the dramatic savings to be had by importing from Canada, where they can cost up to 80 percent less.

All three bills require that medication be FDA approved.

“These bills won’t solve all of our healthcare problems,” Kilmer said. “But we owe it to our families and our seniors to start taking steps in the right direction.”

Kilmer said he is still hard at working on passing previously introduced bills that would benefit both the economic and transportation sectors.

For more information or to track these or other bills visit www.leg.wa.gov.

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