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Wash. proposes 12 percent workers’ comp rate hike

OLYMPIA — 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.

L&I Director Judy Schurke says the slow economy has increased workers’ comp costs. But she says the state has been able to hold the rate down through cost-cutting measures.

Today’s rate announcement is months later than usual because of the campaign over Initiative 1082, which would have allowed private insurers to sell workers’ comp and changed the way rates are calculated.

L&I didn’t propose new rates before the election, saying it would have been too confusing to change them if I-1082 was approved. The agency also says it didn’t want to affect the election.

Voters defeated I-1082 last week.