May 24, 2011

Bad workers' comp bill passes both House and Senate

The so-called compromise workers’ compensation bill supported by the governor and legislative leaders of both parties easily passed both the House and Senate Monday and is headed for Gov. Chris Gregoire’s desk for her signature into law.
The bill institutes “structured settlements” for seriously injured workers who will turn to other public safety net services if the settlements run out or aren’t enough.

Sen. Karen Keiser of the 33rd District said EHB 2123 brings “risk and uncertainty” and violates the 100-year-old workers’ comp settlement that provided adequate payout to injured workers in return for giving up the right to sue employers.

“It’s a bad bargain,” Keiser said in opposing EHB 2123.

EHB 2123 passed the House 69-26 with three excused and cleared the Senate 35-12 with two excused.

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