Governor Inslee issued a letter noting that he had signed the budget into law, averting the shut-down of government offices and services that had been slated to occur as of July 1. Although we are quite pleased that the shut-down was averted, just the threat of a shut-down caused a ridiculous number of man-hours to be spent preparing for the worst with ripple effects across our cases. Frankly, some of those ripples were positive as the Claims Managers at the Department of Labor and Industries focused their attention on getting time loss compensation set up for claimants that were not already in the system to receive automatic payments. We greatly appreciate the efforts put forth by many of the Claims Managers to address our requests for benefits before the deadline. However, we did have negative impacts, as well, with cases in ligitation where depositions were rescheduled or notification received that, if there were a shut-down, no attorney from the Office of the Attorney General would appear on behalf of the Department.
Unfortunately, one issue that is of great importance to our clientele – transportation funding – did not get the attention it needed during the special legislative session.
Unfortunately, one issue that is of great importance to our clientele – transportation funding – did not get the attention it needed during the special legislative session. Without a funding plan, King County’s METRO Transit will now be implementing plans for a 17% reduction in service. This is at a time when ridership is at a peak, returning to levels not seen since the start of the recent recession, and when the need for inexpensive and effective transportation by unemployed, undereployed and disabled people is great. It has been rumored that another special session may be called by Governor Inslee to address transportation funding.