Big Savings From Workers’ Comp Reform

As we have reported numerous times, including in a recent policy brief, the Washington workers’ compensation system must be reformed.  At the beginning of March, the Senate passed a bill (ESB 5566) that would do just that.

Yesterday the fiscal note for the bill was released, and it confirms what we already knew: the provisions in the bill–especially the option for workers to choose a voluntary settlement instead of a pension–would reduce system costs considerably.

According to the fiscal note, the bill would reduce receipts by $1.26 billion over the 2011-13 biennium and by $548.7 million in the biennia thereafter.  It would also reduce expenditures by $1.22 billion over 2011-13, by $524.5 million over 2013-15, and by $530.5 million over 2015-17.  These expenditure reductions “reflect decreases in liabilities for existing and future claims.”