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How your legislator voted

By Washington Votes.org

Y = Yes, N = No, E = Excused, X = Not Voting

The state Senate recently passed three pieces of worker’s compensation, addressing the Retrospective Rating (“Retro”) plan, and replacing the existing structured settlement provisions for injured workers with a plan that makes it easier for workers to settle their claims. Structured settlements also would be allowed at an earlier age. The bills passed by votes of 25-24, 30-19, and 25-24 respectively.

Senate Bill 5112: Granting scheduling authority for qualified retrospective rating plan employers and groups. Passed 25-24 in the Senate on Feb. 4, 2013.

The act provides that retrospective rating plan employers and groups may assist the Department of Labor and Industries in the processing of claims. It also authorizes claims representatives for retrospective rating plan employers and groups to schedule medical examinations and consultations, and schedule vocational rehabilitation assessments

District 41

Sen. Steve Litzow – Y

District 48

Sen. Rodney Tom – Y

 

Senate Bill 5127, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5127: Amending provisions governing structured settlements by removing age barriers and clarifying legislative intent. Passed 30-19 in the Senate on Feb. 4, 2013. Notice of Reconsideration given.

The act provides that structured settlements are available for workers who are at least 40 years of age, instead of at age 55. A best interest determination is not a requirement of a settlement agreement for represented workers. The legislation states that it is a clarification of the Legislature's original intent, and applies retroactively.

District 41

Sen. Steve Litzow – Y

District 48

Sen. Rodney Tom – Y

 

Senate Bill 5128, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5128: Modifying compensation for injured workers provisions. Passed 25-24 in the Senate on Feb. 4, 2013

The existing structured settlement program is repealed, and a new settlement program is created. Starting Sept. 1, 2013, parties to an allowed claim for workers compensation benefits may resolve a claim for all workers compensation benefits other than medical. Settlement agreements must be submitted to, and approved by, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) if it finds that the parties have entered into the agreement knowingly and willingly. If the injured worker is unrepresented, a settlement officer at the BIIA must review the settlement agreement, explain to the worker the benefits generally available, ensure the worker has an adequate understanding of the proposal and its consequences, and can approve the settlement only if it is in the best interest of the worker.

District 41

Sen. Steve Litzow – Y

District 48

Sen. Rodney Tom – Y

 

Senate Bill 5197, Second Substitute Senate Bill 5197: Requiring measures to promote safe school buildings. Passed the Senate on Feb. 11, 2013 by a vote of 47-0.

The bill requires every school to have at least one silent alarm in its administrative offices to alert local law enforcement about a threat or potential threat to the school. It also requires all new or remodeled schools to be able to lock exterior doors remotely from the administrative offices and to be designed to restrict the general public from entering the school through the administrative offices. The state Superintendent of Public Instruction must create a model plan by June 1, 2014, and school districts must implement panic alarms by Dec. 1, 2014.

District 41

Sen. Steve Litzow – Y

District 48

Sen. Rodney Tom – Y

 

Senate Bill 5445, Substitute Senate Bill 5445: Funding capital projects for schools. Passed the Senate on Feb. 11, 2013 by a vote of 47-0.

The bill authorizes and appropriates $475 million in general obligation bonds for the 2013-15 school construction assistance program and for a $10 million grant program to improve security at public schools. The state supports local school construction through the school construction assistance program , which is administered by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

District 41

Sen. Steve Litzow – Y

District 48

Sen. Rodney Tom – Y

 

WashingtonVotes.org is a free, non-partisan website to find plain-English explanations of bills and a record of each legislator’s votes.

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