The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)—Washington’s largest state agency—“spent $600,000 for airfare, mileage, lodging, food and guest speakers” for three two-day educational workshops this month. DSHS justified spending $600,000 of taxpayer dollars for workshops on “wellness in the workplace, dealing with stress, agency goals and communication strategies” by pointing out that it has not “engaged” its employees on such a scale in five years.
According to The News Tribune, division director Babs Roberts suggested that, due to the recession, “state workers have paid a price through budget cuts that in some cases lowered staffing levels while caseloads grew.” Thus, they deserved to splurge on $600,000 of taxpayers’ money on motivational speakers and humorists.
Last week, State Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler expressed his displeasure on KIRO Radio, blasting DSHS’ workshop convention as a “splurge” that shows “contempt for taxpayers.”
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