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Press Release

Wednesday, September 21

AWB Statement on Proposed Workers’ Compensation Rate Increase

OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business, Washington state’s largest business association representing small, medium and large employers, issued the following statement regarding the Department of Labor & Industries’ proposed workers’ compensation rate increase:

“Once again, the Department of Labor and Industries has elected to impose a tax increase on Washington employers that it does not need to impose,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “The department’s proposed 0.7 percent average rate increase may seem like a small number, but some industries will see dramatically higher rate increases.

“Furthermore, the cumulative impact of this proposed tax increase, which follows several years of unnecessary workers’ comp rate increases, represents a significant cost to all Washington employers, making it harder for them to compete with other states. In fact, officials could have reduced rates an average 2.3 percent and still broken even, meaning this proposal is 3 percent higher than was necessary.

“Washington employers understand the need for a robust program that helps injured workers, but unnecessary tax increases such as this only make it harder for businesses to expand and hire more workers, which is what our economy needs in order to fully recover from years of recession and help those businesses that are continuing to struggle in many parts of the state.”

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes nearly 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit www.awb.org.

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