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Another try to bring worker’s comp settlements to a vote

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on May 2, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
May 2, 2011 5:37 pm

Republicans tried a fourth time today to bring a proposal up for a vote on the House floor that would allow lump-sum settlements for injured workers.

And once again they couldn’t persuade centrist Democrats to oppose their caucus leadership and support the procedural move to bring forward the bill that they support, authored by Democratic Rep. Deb Eddy of Kirkland.

“We just want to remind them we haven’t done (worker’s compensation reform),” House GOP Leader Richard DeBolt of Chehalis said. The topic is supposed to be one of the subjects of the ongoing 30-day special session.

Without getting too far into the minutiae of House procedure, this request was a little different than the previous ones, but it had the same results. DeBolt said it may be the last time Republicans try it, unless he gets an indication they will have support. “I’m not optimistic, though,” he said.

That doesn’t mean the workers’ comp debate is over. The moderate Democrats continue try to press for a compromise that will allow the lump-sum settlements that business wants, saying it will help prevent double-digit increases in employers” workers’ comp premiums. Other, more liberal Democrats agree with labor that it would be disastrous for workers, and prefer other proposals that have passed the House.

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