The Roundtable works to effect positive change on public policy issues that are most important to supporting state economic vitality and fostering opportunity for all Washingtonians. That work includes sharing news and analyzing policy developments affecting our state.

Benefits paid – the best measure of workers’ comp costs

The Washington Research Council has an insightful rundown on its blog, detailing the rationale for using workers’ compensation benefits paid to compare costs between states. We use  benefits paid for our Benchmarks for a Better Washington because it’s the most reliable, stable state-by-state metric for measuring a key business cost that impacts employer decisions about where to keep and create jobs.  The conclusion of that data is concerning – Washington is the most expensive state in the nation for workers’ compensation benefits paid.  Clearly, reform is needed.  The best option is SB 5127, a bill that passed the state Senate early in the year.  It lowers the eligibility age for voluntary settlements from 55 to 40, making such settlements an option for more workers.  This modest change could help the state’s system significantly, learn why in this opinion piece from the Everett Herald.  Lawmakers should take action during the special session this month.

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