Today, Washington Governor Jay Inslee released a statement clarifying his earlier statement about delaying the assessment of WA Cares Fund premiums.  (Our earlier blog entry is here.)  In today’s clarification, the Governor appears to be saying that employers still have a choice to make about whether to collect and remit WA Cares Fund premiums, noting that the State of Washington will begin collecting premiums from its employees as of January 1, 2022.  This follows his earlier statement that “employers will not be subject to penalties and interest for not withholding fees from employees’ wages during this transition” and statements from Senate Majority Leader Billig and House Speaker Jinkins that “we also support employers pausing premium collections from employees in Washington so lawmakers can take necessary action.”  We are not sure what to make of the Governor’s “clarifying” statement today, although it raises additional questions for employers, regardless of whether they choose to withhold premiums starting January 1, 2022.  Employers should consult with a Perkins Coie employee benefits attorney for additional information about this developing story.