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Moderate Democrats tout success in reforms to UI, Workers’ Comp programs


December 13, 2011

Eighty-eight percent of employers will pay lower tax rates than they did this year thanks to reforms pushed for by moderate Democrats in the House and Senate to the state’s unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation programs during the 2011 session.

The Employment Security Department issued a report which stated that employers which laid off no staff over the last four years will see their rates shrink by a whopping 71 percent, an all-time low for businesses in that rate class. This is especially good news for small businesses which make up 91 percent of this class.

In addition, workers’ comp rates will not rise, marking the first time since 2007 L & I rates have not increased. This is expected to save businesses in the state approximately $150 million next year.

“Throughout my career as a public official, one thing has never changed: the best solutions are found when you work together and meet in the middle,” said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island. “When you strike a balance, great things can result. These types of reforms cleared the way for Boeing’s decision to build the 737 MAX here in our state.”

“This just goes to show what we can accomplish when we pull together,” said Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens. “As we continue to craft the supplemental budget, we must use the same bipartisan approach to produce real results for the betterment of the state.”


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