Would add private carriers to the current system of state industrial insurance – often called workers’ compensation – that is run by the state except for large employers who choose to self-insure. Such a system, sometimes called “three-way” industrial insurance, has been introduced in various forms in the Legislature in the past but never cleared both houses.
The state Department of Labor and Industries says workers’ compensation rates are going up an average of 12 percent next year, or about 6.5 cents per hour worked.
As if Initiative 1082 weren’t confusing enough, television commercials for the opposing sides now feature the same person: State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. Kreidler is against the proposal, as he says on a commercial for the No on I-1082 Committee and in the state voters pamphlet. It would make the state’s current system for workers’ compensation into a good deal for insurance companies and a bad deal for unprotected workers, he argues.
Washington state Sen. Chris Marr, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner answer the question, “Do you support Initiative 1082, which would privatize workers’ compensation?”
Washington voters have a near record number of initiatives on this fall’s ballot, giving them choices on raising taxes, paying taxes, buying liquor and providing for workers’ industrial insurance. Here’s a look at the state government changes ballot measures.
An initiative that would privatize Washington’s workers’ compensation system is one of the key issues that will bring the state’s union members to the polls, labor leaders said at a Spokane rally Wednesday. Al Link, secretary-treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council, joined hundreds of workers at the rally at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. Link said the workers’ compensation system is “probably the number one priority” for the labor council.
Washington voters may be experiencing initiative overload this year with a near-record number of ballot measures. They can stage a “tax revolt” by lifting new taxes imposed by the Legislature in April or reinstate a two-thirds supermajority for any tax increase. They can also impose an income tax on people who make more than $200,000.
Soda pop sellers, liquor distributors and warehouse retailers are pouring millions of dollars into Washington to influence residents’ votes on a slew of statewide ballot measures. Some $30 million so far – the majority from out of state – has flooded the coffers of campaigns for or against an array of initiatives, a process in Washington that lets voters enact laws they feel their legislators won’t.
OLYMPIA – Washington voters will likely have six initiatives on the November ballot dealing with taxes, booze and workers’ comp. They could repeal some of the recent consumer taxes on soda, bottled water and candy; levy an income tax on people who make more than $200,000 a year; and restore a supermajority requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes.