Letters to the Editor

Pass I-1082—let private insurers compete with state on workers' comp | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) has filed an initiative to allow private insurance companies to compete with the state’s workers’ compensation monopoly. Initiative 1082 would permit private insurance companies to enter the market in competition with Labor & Industries.

One of the most striking elements of the initiative is that it would eliminate the worker contribution that is required in Washington state.

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries is broken. Here are some facts:

Despite a 52-percent decrease in job injuries since 1990, workers’ compensation taxes have increased more than 53 percent during the past 10 years.

Even though claims have decreased, the Department of Labor & Industries’ administrative costs increased 82 percent from 1999–2009 (28 percent in just the last year).

A recent report from the state auditor says workers’ comp taxes will need to be increased 33 percent next year to keep the system solvent.

Washington is one of only four states with a government monopoly that forbids private competition for industrial insurance coverage.

While workers’ comp taxes are falling around the country, Washington is one of only a handful of states that increased workers’ comp taxes this year. Oregon has not increased rates in 20 years — and employers there are actually enjoying rate decreases in 2010 and will be receiving a rebate.

Washington has the second-highest cost per employee in the nation for workers’ compensation.

This campaign is likely to be one of the hottest that will confront voters this year, starting with the initiative drive. BIAW has until July 1 to collect 241,000 signatures — 300,000 to be safe. (All information taken from www.SaveOurJobsWA.com.)

For more information, please see www.SaveOurJobsWA.com. To sign the petition or get copies of the petition for your business or place of employment, please contact me at I-1082@hotmail.com and I will get you copies.

Linda Adesanya

Clinton

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