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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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March 12, 2008 9:40 AM

Real life civics lesson

Posted by David Postman

A deal has been struck on a bill that had pitted Boeing against state unions. Labor-backed House Bill 3139 would have said decisions about disputed worker benefits made by the state Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals are due on the date issued, even if the employer appeals the decision. Under current law, which Boeing and some other large employers wanted to maintain, the benefits are suspended pending the appeal.

What may be interesting to you - but I know won’t be news to Capital denizens - is that the compromise bill agreed to by a conference committee of House and Senate negotiators was actually negotiated and written by representatives of labor and Boeing. This e-mail from staff of the Senate Labor, Commerce, Research & Development Committee went out yesterday to members of the House and Senate labor committees. It makes clear what is a common practice in Olympia - lobbyists doing the work our civics books say is done by lawmakers and their staff.

Hello all -

House and Senate Joint rules require that a conference meeting be scheduled and notice of the meeting be posted. The rules also require that a conference committee report be available for 24 hours prior to consideration.

Attached is suggested language for the conference report on 3139 as developed by Greg Pierce (representing Boeing) and Jeff Johnson and Owen Linch (both representing labor); and a side-by-side showing the differences between the report and the bill as it passed the House and Senate.

At this point, we need to put together a place and a time for a conference meeting. Please review the attached language. If the language is acceptable to everybody, the meeting shouldn’t take long, and I suggest the meeting happen sometime this afternoon.

Please share any concerns and suggested meeting times.

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