WSR 02-07-064

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT


[ Filed March 15, 2002, 3:53 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: To adopt a new chapter outlining the requirements an individual must meet to be eligible for extended unemployment benefits. These include defining what work is considered suitable, the minimum job search requirements an individual must meet, and the penalties that an individual will incur for failing to accept or apply for suitable work. Existing WAC 192-16-033, 192-16-036, 192-16-040, 192-16-042, 192-16-045, and 192-16-047 will be repealed.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010 Commissioner's duties and powers and 50.12.040 Rule-making authority.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: In January 2002, the state entered into an extended benefit period. There have been several changes in the law since the state was last in an extended benefit period (1994), and the existing regulations are out of date. It is necessary to update the rules to inform workers of the current requirements they must meet to be eligible for extended benefits, and the penalties for failure to meet those requirements.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) reviews the state's administration of the unemployment insurance program to ensure conformity to federal statutes and regulations. The state has broad flexibility in the implementation of unemployment insurance laws as long as conformity is maintained. The proposed regulations will be shared with USDOL prior to adoption.

Process for Developing New Rule: The department will conduct informal public meetings with interested individuals and stakeholders to gather their input and comments during the development of these regulations.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Persons interested in attending meetings to discuss the proposed regulations should contact Juanita Myers, Rules Coordinator, Unemployment Insurance Division, Employment Security Department, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, phone (360) 902-9665, fax (360) 902-9799, e-mail jmyers@esd.wa.gov.

March 7, 2002

Dr. Sylvia P. Mundy

Commissioner

Washington State Code Reviser's Office