Second Injury Fund

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Missouri's long-ailing Second Injury Fund is at the center of a lawsuit heard Tuesday before the State Supreme Court.

David Spradling was injured on the job in 1998 after having previously been declared disabled, and died in 2005 from unrelated circumstances.  He had filed a Second Injury Fund claim, which his three children pursued, and in 2011 were awarded his disability payments for the rest of their lives.  Attorney Sheila Blaylock represented the Spradlings before the High Court.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

On this week's show: Missouri Senator Scott Rupp (R-Lincoln) joins the trio to discuss Normandy students busing to Francis Howell. Rupp was also an architect of the lauded Second Injury Fund fix, and talks about how it came to be.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With the clock ticking on his time to sign or veto bills, Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation revamping the Second Injury Fund and adding occupational disease to the workers compensation system.

Speaker Tim Jones and Majority Leader John Diehl confer during session's final hours
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With the exception of its laser focus on gun rights, the 97th session of the Missouri General Assembly that ended at 6 p.m. Friday pretty much reflected the recent tradition:

The Republican majority portrayed it an “immense success,’’ the Democrats called it an extremist failure and Gov. Jay Nixon declined to say.

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Legislation that would revive Missouri's ailing Second Injury Fund and seek to reduce the number of occupational disease lawsuits was passed Thursday by the Missouri House.  It had already passed the Missouri Senate during pre-dawn hours on Wednesday.

KWMU.

Early this morning, the Missouri Senate passed legislation that would fix the state's ailing Second Injury Fund.

The fund is designed to help disabled workers who suffer a second work-related injury.  It began running out of money after lawmakers eight years ago capped the surcharge businesses have to pay into it.  Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville), would temporarily increase the surcharge.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The final week of Missouri's regular legislative session has arrived.  The Republican-led General Assembly and Democratic Governor Jay Nixon are pushing to get several things accomplished before Friday.  St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin tells us that the session, so far, has been one highlighted by partisanship and controversy.

Nixon vs. lawmakers, tax credit reform

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:40 p.m. to include comments from the bill's sponsor, Sen. Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville).

Missouri senators have passed legislation replenishing an insolvent fund for injured workers and limiting lawsuits for job-related diseases.

The 32-2 vote on Thursday sent the measure to the House.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate on Tuesday night gave first-round approval to a workers’ compensation bill that includes a proposed fix for the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund.

Senate Bill 1 would replenish the fund by temporarily doubling the fees business may be charged, while restricting the types of injuries that would be covered.  The sponsor, State Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville), calls it an ideal compromise.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate spent more than two hours debating legislation Monday that would keep the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund alive.

The proposal being considered would raise fees that businesses across the state currently pay into the fund while placing restrictions on future claims.  State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) said in floor debate that raising the cap on businesses was a good move, but expressed concern that people with pre-existing conditions would be left out.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri lawmakers have wrapped up the 2012 legislative session.  They passed 115 bills this year, nearly 50 of them on the final day alone.  But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, several high-priority issues didn’t make it to the finish line.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri House has passed its version of a workers’ compensation bill that also proposes to fix the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund.

The vote again fell mostly along party lines, passing 92 to 56, with one lawmaker voting "present."  The measure would place occupational disease claims back within the workers’ comp system and would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses.  Democrats, including Kevin McManus of Kansas City, objects to moving claims out of the courts and back to workers' comp.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to another workers’ compensation bill.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed a similar bill last month that originated in the Senate.  The House version contains most of the same provisions – it would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses, and it would restore occupational disease claims within the workers’ comp system.  State Rep. Jacob Hummel (D, St. Louis) debated with the bill’s sponsor, Dave Schatz (R, Sullivan).

(Mo. Attorney General's office)

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) is urging Missouri lawmakers to either find a way to make the state’s Second Injury Fund solvent again or to get rid of it entirely.

The fund provides payments to workers who return to the workforce after being injured on the job, then are injured on the job again. The Attorney General’s office manages the fund, and Koster says it’s been losing money ever since lawmakers in 2005 capped the amount of money Missouri businesses have to pay to keep the fund afloat.