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.
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.
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.
The measure would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses, but it leaves occupational disease claims within the court system and does not address the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund. State Rep. Dave Schatz (R, Sullivan) sponsored a different workers’ comp bill that addresses the fund and would move occupational disease claims to the workers’ comp system. He hopes it will pass, too.