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Eye On Olympia

Workers compensation bill passes Senate…

The state Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would cut some benefits for workers killed or injured on the job, despite bitter opposition from some Democrats.
Prime sponsor Sen. Jim Honeyford said the changes will simplify workers’ compensation calculations and give some relief to businesses struggling with a 29 percent rate increase this year, and potential similar increases over the next two years.
Critics said the bill, ESSB 5378 , is incredibly complex, and will end up cutting benefits to injured workers.
“It hurts those who are already hurt,” said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines.
The bill passed 25 to 24. Locally, only Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, voted against it.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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