WA senators to hear workers' compensation bills

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Associated Press

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A GOP-led Washington state Senate committee will on Wednesday consider five bills to save businesses money by changing workers' compensation rules.

Proponents say the measures, which include making it easier for injured workers to take settlement agreements instead of litigating for more money, would make the system more cost-effective.

Opponents counter that those cost savings would come at the expense of injured workers, and lamented that the takeover of the state Senate by a coalition of 23 Republicans and two Democrats, which has labeled itself the Majority Coalition Caucus, has brought these ideas to the fore.

The proposed changes to the workers compensation system come in the wake of a raft of reforms passed in 2011 meant to rein in costs to a system that all parties agree was overburdened.

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