A simmering debate over worker’s compensation could come to a head in the Senate today for the first big floor fight under the new GOP-powered regime.
Several pieces of Republican-proposed legislation are awaiting floor votes. They are backed by business groups, which are worried about predictions of a decade of workers’ comp insurance-rate increases, and strongly opposed by unions, which say a set of reforms in 2011 are already saving money and should be fully implemented.
- Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, is proposing changes to child protective policies in response to the killing of Charlie and Braden Powell by their father, Josh Powell, near Graham. Senate Bill 5315 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections at 10 a.m.
- Also at 10 a.m., the Senate Health Care Committee plans to discuss implementation of marijuana legalization and hear testimony on a resolution asking the federal government to reclassify the drug.
- Sen. Steve Litzow’s bill requiring student improvement to constitute 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation in some areas will receive a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Senate Bill 5246 will be heard before the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.
- At the same time, the House Finance Committee will hear House Bill 1329, sponsored by Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver. The proposal would create a sales tax holiday for back-to-school purchases.
-Jordan Schrader & Kim Bradford