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Spin Control

Mon., May 23, 2011, 9:41 a.m.

Special Session Day 28: House to vote on workers comp

OLYMPIA -- At some point today, probably late morning, the House will do something it has resisted for about 132 days: vote on a bill to change workers compensation system.

The deal announced Sunday evening was printed up over night, setting up a vote sometime after the respective parties chew it over in caucuses. If the House pushes it out in time, the Senate could vote on the proposal Monday evening.

There will be no public hearings. Gov. Chris Gregoire tossed off the suggestion that hearings were needed Sunday evening, saying that all elements of the package had undergone hearings already, with the exception of new provisions to guard against fraud, and who could be against more fraud fighting?

Technically, that's not exactly true. The "structured settlement" provisions haven't had a hearing; their precursor, which was known as "compromise and release" and had some significant differences -- presumably they must, else House Democratic leaders who seemed more willing to stick their heads in a lawnmower than vote for c & r wouldn't be voting for "structured settlements".

But it would seem that in the closing days of the session, hearings are overrated.

A budget agreement also seems likely to be announced today, or they could run out of time to get things printed and read and voted on before everyone's coach turns into a pumpkin at 11:59:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Today's special session math: By day's end, we will be 28/30ths gone; which equals 14/15ths gone; which equals 93.33 percent over. 

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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