Washington State Senate Passes Workers’ Comp Bills

By JONATHAN KAMINSKY | February 6, 2013

The Republican-controlled Washington state Senate passed three contentious measures intended to save businesses money by changing workers’ compensation rules.

Senate Bill 5128 would overhaul the “compromise-and-release” settlement agreement system for injured workers first approved by the Legislature in 2011.

Both that measure and Senate Bill 5112, which would help businesses move injured workers through rehabilitation more quickly by allowing them to schedule medical evaluations, passed by a 25-24 vote.

Senate Bill 5127, which would lower the age of those eligible for settlements as they exist under current rules, passed 30-19 after an amendment lowered the age from 55 to 40 instead of removing the age restriction entirely.

Republicans retook the Senate this year after two Democrats crossed party lines to give the GOP-dominated faction a one-vote majority.

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