OLYMPIA — House Republicans tried to force a hearing and vote on a proposal to change the state's workers compensation system but failed Monday afternoon.
At issue is a plan which would allow for voluntary compromise and release of workers compensation payments an employee might have if injured on the job. Such lump sum payments could reduce costs to the workers comp system and stave off a rate increase, supporters contend. It has the potential for taking advantage of injured workers when they are vulnerable, opponents counter.
The bill has Gov. Chris Gregoire's backing and passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote. But it hasn't had a hearing, let alone a vote, on the House side.
Monday afternoon, Rep. Charles Ross, R-Naches, asked to suspend the rules and call up a new bill on the plan for a hearing and full debate right away. Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, argued against the maneuver, contending the issue was “one of those issues, along with a number of others, we will continue to work on.
The parliamentary move failed on a 43-52 vote.
The House then recessed until Thursday morning.