Idaho, Washington review workers' compensation rules

The Idaho and Washington state legislatures are currently discussing bills that will reform workers compensation rules and make it easier for workers to receive settlements.

According to Business Week, Idaho-based businesses will receive a $3.2 million tax break on workers' compensation premiums over the next two years, which will ease pressure on the State Industrial Commission.

The agency has approximately $17 million worth of cash to distribute in workers' comp cases. However, the report states that an audit found that the amount of much cash was unnecessary and a business tax break would help diminish the fund and help workers receive owed funds.

Meanwhile, the Washington state senate voted 34-15 in favor of a bill that will allow employees to collect workers compensation settlements in lump sums, rather than installments, the Seattle Times reports. Organized labor groups have opposed the bill, but its supporters said lump sums will allow cases to close faster and thus save the state money.

The Washington House of Representatives has argued against the bill, claiming that it turns settlements into a "lottery" and doesn't solve unemployment issues in the state.  

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