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.
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.
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.
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).