-Sen. Steve Conway
When Republicans rushed five bills that make major changes to the state's worker comp system out of committee on a strict party line vote today, they said their intention was to create jobs.
The only problem is that their proposals have nothing to do with creating jobs - and there’s no evidence that the Republicans' claims amount to anything more than rhetoric.
The worker comp system is designed to help injured workers get back on the job. But the Republicans’ changes only make it harder for middle class workers to regain their health and get back to work. Because the worker comp system is complex, it’s difficult to explain the changes in a few words — and that’s all the more reason these bills need to be examined closely for the risky changes they would make to our worker comp system.
You can learn more about Senate Bills 5112, 5124, 5126, 5127 and 5128 by clicking on the link for each. But that’s about the only place you can learn about them, because the Republican majority rushed them out of committee without allowing a serious hearing of their impacts.
Our good health and our ability to work family-wage jobs are the cornerstones that once made our middle class the envy of the world. They make our families whole, they make our lives meaningful and they make our communities strong. And for decades, Washington’s worker comp system has helped keep our middle-class workers on the job. This is no time to replace it with a system that inhibits, instead of enables, their ability to be healthy and productive.