Schmidt has two pieces of legislation signed by the governor

Fourth District Rep. Suzanne Schmidt had two bills signed into law this week by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Schmidt worked with the Employment Security Department (ESD) on House Bill 1898, which will streamline the process related to unemployment insurance (UI) benefit charging.

“The department needs more flexibility in conducting its assessments when reviewing benefit charges for employers,” said Schmidt, R-Spokane Valley. “Recent changes to the law regarding UI eligibility and benefit charging have been inconsistent. This law simplifies the process.

“The ESD and I worked well throughout the legislative session. It was good to see this bill pass with unanimous support,” added Schmidt.

House Bill 2127 also passed the Legislature unanimously. The new law will provide workers’ compensation incentives for employees to return to work as part of Washington state’s Stay at Work Program and Preferred Worker Program.

Under the Stay at Work Program, the state provides wage subsidies and other incentives to employers who provide light duty and transitional work to injured workers. That includes 50% of the basic gross wages for a maximum of 66 workdays within two years up to $10,000.

“This legislation will expand that to $25,000 or 105 days. This is more realistic since the average injured worker is usually on light-duty work for about 90 days. This will ensure that the time the employee is working light duty is covered,” said Schmidt. “In my work with employers and doing claims management, I have seen the right-to-work incentives benefit employers and employees.”

House Bill 2127 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2025. House Bill 1898 takes effect on June 6, 2024.


Washington State House Republican Communications