The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries is considering raising the fee to register, renew or be reinstated as a contractor by 5.79% for 2022.
L&I is required to charge a fee and to revise the fees at least once every two years. The proposed rules will be filed with the state Office of the Code Reviser by Christmas, with a public hearing tentatively set for Jan. 26. If approved, the rules will take effect April 22.
The current fee for a certificate of registration fee is $117.90. It’s is good for two years. Go to bit.ly/WaContractorFees.
The Benton County Office of Public Defense, which provides legally mandated defense services to people charged with crimes, has lost at least 10 attorneys since early 2020.
Eric Hsu, public defense manager, updated the county commission on the status of the office during a November meeting. No action was taken.
Hsu reports that of the 10 attorneys who left since January 2020, 80% were qualified to represent defendants charged with the most serious crimes, Class A felonies, which includes homicides.
Their replacements are not always eligible for such cases, leading to heavy caseloads for the few who are.
Hsu blamed low wages and burnout for the situation, which is contributing to case backlogs. The county said it has had “little to no response” to its attempts to recruit new hires.
Hiring or rehiring retirees won’t affect the tax status of employers’ pension plans.
The Internal Revenue Service issued a reminder that the tax status of pension plans is not affected if employers who rehire retirees or permit distributions of retirement benefits to current employees who have reached age 59½ or the plan’s normal retirement age.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, many employers, including governmental employers, such as public school districts, are looking for ways to encourage retirees to return to the workforce to fill open positions and experienced employees to stay on the job.
Go to go.usa.gov/xeY7j.
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