PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT
[Filed December 23, 1997, 2:25 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Adopt new sections in chapter 192-32 WAC, Timber retraining benefits, defining a base year employer as an interested party to a determination that (a) an individual is potentially eligible for timber retraining benefits and (b) the individual's training plan meets the criteria for approval established by regulation.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010 Commissioner's duties and powers, 50.12.040 Rule-making authority, and 50.22.090(6) Additional benefit period for rural natural resources impact areas.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Recent decisions of the commissioner indicate base year employers have standing as interested parties under the Administrative Procedure Act because they are charged for the additional benefits claimants are paid under RCW 50.22.090. The proposed addition to chapter 192-32 WAC will clarify the standing of base year employers to appeal decisions made by the department, the timeframes for filing such appeals, and the consequences to claimants whose eligibility for additional benefits is overturned following administrative or judicial review.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Labor 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 United States Department of Labor Region X staff prior to adoption.
Process for Developing New Rule: The department intends to hold meetings with stakeholders, interested parties, and significantly affected persons to seek their input in the formulation of regulations.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Persons interested in participating in public meetings to discuss the proposed regulatory changes may contact Juanita Myers, Employment Security Department, Unemployment Insurance Division Policy Unit, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, phone (360) 902-9665, or FAX (360) 902-9799.
December 5, 1997