Letter to L&I Stakeholders: December 2010

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December 2010

Dear L&I Stakeholder:

As you are all too aware, our state continues to face the worst economy in the last 80 years.  Many state residents are out of work, and many businesses, especially small businesses, are struggling.  State and local governments have experienced severe revenue losses which have led to significant budget cuts.  Both small businesses and government will benefit from having a stable and predictable regulatory economy in these difficult times. To help with that, Governor Gregoire has directed state agencies to suspend all non-critical agency rulemaking until the end of 2011 (Executive Order 10-06).

At the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), our rules cover areas of crucial importance to the people of this state. Our rules on employment classifications ensure that businesses pay the correct premium rates to cover the risks of injuries to their workers while remaining competitive in the marketplace; our medical aid rules allow our state’s workers’ compensation system to provide top medical care to injured workers at reasonable rates; our rules on minor workers help keep teenagers safe on the job; and our rules on workplace safety protect workers so that they return home to their families and communities at the end of each shift. In addition, a large percentage of our rules need to change periodically in response to changes in federal laws.

Most of our rules can be suspended for a year as the Governor has ordered, but, some of our rules are too critical to place on hold. L&I’s Assistant Directors, program managers, and I analyzed each proposed rule to assess whether the rules should move forward or can be placed on hold until the end of 2011. These conclusions are available on L&I's website so that you can review the proposal, the proposed plan of action, and provide comments to our agency rules coordinator at rules@lni.wa.gov.

We want to make it easy to do business with Labor and Industries. If you have suggestions, or if you have questions about L&I’s rule making, please contact Tamara Jones, L&I Assistant Director for Government Affairs. Tamara can be reached by email at tamara.jones@lni.wa.gov or by phone at (360) 902-6805

Judy Schurke, L&I Director

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