WSIA's Week 9 Legislative Update (Action as of March 11, 2016)
Yesterday, March 10th, marked the 60th day of the 2016 legislative session, the final day allowed by the state constitution for action this year.
The Legislature adjourned its session late into the evening, but without having completed its central task of supplementing the current biennial state operating budget.
Governor Inslee accordingly called the Legislature back for a 30-day special session to continue negotiating and working on a budget.
In workers' compensation and workplace safety matters, as previously reported, nothing really happened this session. In one version of the budget that's at the center of the special session, the appropriations for Labor & Industries included directives to initiate a task force to study Independent Medical Examination issues as well as a pilot program for outside management of catastrophic injury claims.
It is unclear if either proviso of interest will remain in the final budget that is ultimately negotiated, although legislative sources tell WSIA that the IME task force proviso will most likely not be included.
We'll continue to follow the action and provide a final wrap-up once the Legislature adjourns for good for the year.
All in all, however, it has been a year of inaction on workers' compensation and workplace safety policy by the Legislature.
WSIA will look forward to discussing that with candidates for re-election this summer and fall, as we go through the process of considering support from our Legislative Fund for candidates who share our legislative priorities.