Arrow-right Camera

Spin Control

Mon., May 23, 2011, 4:36 p.m.

Workers comp bill passes House 69-26

OLYMPIA -- Major changes to the state's workers compensation system passed the House Monday on a 69-26 vote.

Most proposed amendments were ruled out of order by Speaker Frank Chopp, and debate centered around whether injured workers would be helped or hurt by a change that would allow them to take "structured settlements" rather than take part in state retraining programs and go on a pension program.

Rep. Chris Reykdahl, D-Tumwater, said the changes were part of a "relentless pursuit to take on workers". Businesses will be helped at the expense of workers, he said.

Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, insisted it was a "creative and somewhat experimental" change to the state's century-old system designed to protect injured workers. "If I were an injured worker, I would want this option. If there are problems, I'll be the first to come back and fix them."

Rep. .Tami Green, D-Lakewood, acknowledged the plan was controversial, but should be given a chance to work. "I guess I would ask us to all calm down a lilttle bit," Green said in opening the debate. "If there are problemls, we can come back and fix them."

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Spin Control
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.

Follow Jim online: