S-0850.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5965



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1997 Regular Session


By Senators Schow, Horn, Anderson, Heavey and Franklin


Read first time 02/24/97.  Referred to Committee on Commerce & Labor.

Providing for changes in agency experience ratings for industrial insurance.

    AN ACT Relating to agency ratings for industrial insurance; amending RCW 51.44.170; and amending 1990 c 204 s 1 (uncodified).




    Sec. 1.  RCW 51.44.170 and 1991 sp.s. c 13 s 29 are each amended to read as follows:

    The industrial insurance premium refund account is created in the state treasury.  All industrial insurance refunds earned by state agencies or institutions of higher education under the state fund retrospective rating program shall be deposited into the account. ((Moneys in the account may be spent only after appropriation.))  Only moneys earned through the retrospective rating program are outside the biennial expenditure limitation imposed on agencies by the legislature and must be available for expenditure by agencies through an account not subject to the appropriation process.  No agency or institution of higher education may ((receive an appropriation)) make requests for expenditures for an amount greater than the refund earned by the agency.  An expenditure request must be detailed and filed with the state treasurer.  Expenditure requests must be subject to periodic review by the office of financial management.  Expenditures from the account may be used for any program within an agency or institution of higher education((, but preference shall be given to programs)) that promotes or provides incentives for employee workplace safety and health and early, appropriate return-to-work for injured employees.


    Sec. 2. 1990 c 204 s 1 (uncodified) is amended to read as follows:

    The legislature finds that workplace safety in state employment is of paramount importance in maintaining a productive and committed state work force.  The legislature also finds that recognition in state agencies and institutions of higher education of industrial insurance programs that provide safe working environments and promote early return-to-work for injured employees will encourage agencies and institutions of higher education to develop these programs.  A purpose of this act is to provide incentives for agencies and institutions of higher education to participate in industrial insurance safety programs and return-to-work programs by authorizing use of the industrial insurance premium refunds earned by agencies or institutions of higher education participating in industrial insurance retrospective rating programs.  Since agency retrospective rating refunds are generated from safety performance and cannot be set at predictable levels determined by the budget process, the incentive awards should not impact, by a like amount, an agency's legislatively approved budget.


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