Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter today to the state Employment Security Department, directing them to not accept long-term services and support premiums from employers in advance of quarterly taxes due in April 2022. The letter follows the announcement the governor made last week, and the commitment made by legislative leadership to make refinements to the law this coming legislative session.
The letter reads, in part:
"The Legislature has committed to changing the Long Term Services and Support law in January of 2022, including delaying the premium collection timelines currently outlined in this law. Until that change occurs, the existing law remains in place; I do not have the power to change the law on my own. While the Legislature lacks authority to direct employers not to collect premiums, legislative leadership has strongly encouraged the employer community to pause collection of premiums from employees, to allow lawmakers time to pass legislation extending implementation dates for this law until next year.
Based on the Legislature’s stated commitment, employers must now choose whether to begin collecting premiums on January 1, 2022 according to the current law, and returning the premiums to workers following a change in the law, or delay collection in anticipation of this legislative change. As you know, if the Legislature fails to change the law, employers will still be legally obligated to pay the full amount owed to your agency."
Read: Letter to ESD Commissioner Cami Feek
Background: Inslee, Billig, Jinkins statement on delaying WA Cares Fund premium assessment