State offices close Monday in attempt to cut costs

October 10, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 10, 2010

Forget about renewing or updating a driver’s license Monday.

The state has ordered Department of Licensing offices and dozens of other agencies to close for the day as a cost-cutting measure.

The closure impacts the department and dozens of other state agencies and commissions. The state Office of Financial Management has a complete list of closures.

The next closure day is scheduled for Dec. 27. Expect closures during the first six months of next year as well.

The shutdowns started in July.

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County executive appoints technology guru

August 24, 2010

County Executive Dow Constantine has appointed a state Department of Licensing official as the chief information officer for King County.

William “Bill” Kehoe served as the first CIO for the Department of Licensing since the agency created the post in 2002.

“I am looking forward to working with the executive and his IT staff to develop ways of using technology in a more efficient and cost-effective manner,” he said in a statement.

The county Office of Information Resource Management has a $42.9 million budget and 181 staffers. The office provides services — including cable communications, printing and graphics services, radio communication and telecommunications services — to residents, regional partners and local government agencies.

The appointment faces King County Council approval.

Kehoe oversaw 155 employees, a $50 million operating budget and a $10 million project budget at the Department of Licensing.

“Bill’s experience running a large, forward-looking organization will help as he begins his work leading King County’s IT office and staff,” Constantine said in a statement.

Executive appoints King County technology guru

August 16, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 16, 2010

County Executive Dow Constantine has appointed a state Department of Licensing official as the chief information officer for King County.

William “Bill” Kehoe served as the first CIO for the Department of Licensing since the agency created the post in 2002.

“I am looking forward to working with the executive and his IT staff to develop ways of using technology in a more efficient and cost-effective manner,” he said in a statement.

The county Office of Information Resource Management has a $42.9 million budget and 181 staffers. The office provides services — including cable communications, printing and graphics services, radio communication and telecommunications services — to residents, regional partners and local government agencies.

Read more

Closures start soon at licensing, other state offices

July 6, 2010

Drivers face fewer opportunities to renew or update licenses in the months ahead, because the state has ordered offices for the Department of Licensing and dozens of other agencies to close for a day each month until June 2011.

The first shutdown occurs July 12. The state also plans to close most agencies and programs Aug. 6, Sept. 7, Oct. 11 and Dec. 27. Expect closures during the first six months of next year as well.

Officials shielded services critical to public health and safety — such as Child Protective Services and the Washington State Patrol — from office closures. But some business functions at those agencies will be impacted by the shutdowns. State employees will be considered temporarily laid off on dates their offices close.

Find a complete list of closures at the state Office of Financial Management website.

The cash-strapped state hopes to save $70 million through the mandatory shutdowns. Lawmakers passed the legislation in April, and Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill.

Help save lives through organ donation

April 20, 2010

More than 14,000 people from across the country — both alive and deceased — donated tissue from their bodies in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

While those people enabled more than 28,000 transplants to take place, tens of thousands of people were left without the transplants they needed. For many of those, the waiting was fatal.

Everyone can help by signing up to be an organ donor, by which one gives legal consent for his or her organs to be donated in the case of his or her death. By being a donor after death, one can donate his or her heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, small intestines, heart valves, skin, bone, connective tissue, veins, eyes and/or corneas.

A medical team prepares a patient for an organ transplant. Contributed

Kevin O’Connor, CEO of Donate Life Today, Washington’s official organ donor registry, said one deceased person’s donations can save or enhance the lives of as many as 50 people.

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