Labor groups don't much like it, but a deal on workers compensation is in the works for a Saturday morning vote in the Democrat-controlled state Senate. Republican Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry of Moses Lake said in an email Friday evening that a bipartisan agreement was reached.
Senate Bill 5566 deals with injured workers and long-term pensions, and it is one piece of Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposals to reduce worker injuries, disability pension costs and the time delay in getting injured workers rehabbed and on the job.
It was not clear if the Senate agreement has support of a majority of Democrats or whether its success depends entirely on a coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats.
Details on the compromise were not immediately available. But the Washington Federation of State Employees sent an alert asking its members to go to the Senate gallery Saturday morning. It wants a show of green-shirt solidarity against what it describes as "significant benefit cuts for workers who get injured or permanently disabled on the job "
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Here is Manuel Valdes' recent story for The Associated Press on the workers comp issue.
Here is a statement by the Association of Washington Business on Gregoire's early proposals.