House leadership should allow vote on needed workers’ comp reform

In my column today, I call on Democratic leaders in the House to bring to the floor legislation that would allow voluntary settlement agreements for workers’ compensation claims. This is not a new theme.

An excellent editorial in the Herald of Everett urged the bipartisan majorities in both houses of the Legislature to hold firm and demand a vote. Similarly, in his column AWB president Don Brunell, acknowledging the boost tax amnesty gave state revenues, made the point that more substantive reforms – like the stalled workers’ comp bill – are necessary to get the economy moving again.

The politics are frustrating. The policy is important. The Research Council has written several extended analyses of workers compensation reform (for example here and here).

Sure, most lawmakers want to get out of Olympia and back home. Most of them also want to pass good, mainstream workers’ compensation reform. House leadership should give them the chance. It’s worth holding out for.