Legislative session kicks off with numerous bills in play

Jan. 9, 2023

Capital Snow

This year's session of the Washington State Legislature begins today, January 9th and runs 105 days until April 23. Big ticket issues like tax and fiscal policy, housing and homelessness, health care and mental health, climate policy, and K-12 education are already announced as big priorities of the incoming Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, but labor and employment issues are also expected to factor into the agenda. Already, some workers' compensation bills have been pre-filed and set for hearing next week, including Senate Bill 5084 establishing a separate self-insurance reserve fund, in part to allow the Second Injury Fund to receive back interest on its invested assets, and House Bill 1068, a claimants' lawyer bill to rebrand IMEs as "compelled examinations" and allow for their video or audio recording. SB 5084, which we generally support, is being heard in the Senate Labor Committee next Thursday, while HB 1068, which we do not support, is being heard next Tuesday in the House Labor Committee.

Members of WSIA's legislative or legal committees get weekly updates and bill tracking sheets during the legislative session; if you're interested in following along as part of either group, drop us a line and let us know.