April 14, 2011
A bill â€“ generally supported by employers and opposed by labor â€“ will alleviate workers compensation rates in Washington state. At issue are reforms, especially allowing workers to receive voluntary lump-sum payments instead of pensions.
At this writing, ESB 5566 is stalled in a Washington State Legislature committee â€“ the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee, which is chaired by Mike Sells, D-Everett.
Thatâ€™s despite support from the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and former Washington and Oregon LaborÂ & Industries Director Gary Weeks. Mr. Weeks has been quoted as saying voluntary settlements work in 44 other states and they save money â€“ $1.2 billion by Washington L&I estimates.
â€śWe have two weeks to go and while the prospects for passage maybe dim, it is never over until itâ€™s over, as Yogi Berra would say,â€ť says AWB President Don Brunell.Â â€śKeep contacting the Governor and House members.Â If they say no, donâ€™t give up because the answer is always no until it is yes.â€ť
Mr. Brunell asserts the billâ€™s passage will alleviate the pain on business.
â€śBecause without reforms such as incorporated in ESB 5566, we are likely to look at double-digit workers compensation rage increases in 2012,â€ť he says.
â€śSome are saying 20 percentÂ or higher,â€ť he adds.Â â€śSo while I know that killing voluntary settlements makes absolutely no sense, this all about politics.â€ť
Thatâ€™s my sense, too. Candidly, Iâ€™ve worked with Mr. Brunell and his fine staff in whom I have the utmost confidence.
From the Coachâ€™s Corner, here are AWBâ€™s tips on what you can do.
â€śI cannot say that I do not disagree with you.â€ť
– Groucho Marx
For a complementary chat about your situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why donâ€™t you contact him today?