workers' compensation

Gov. Jay Nixon announced drops in workers comp rates in at the Carpenters Training Center in Affton on Thursday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri businesses can expect to pay less for workers compensation insurance.

During a visit to Nelson Mulligan Carpenters Training Center in Affton on Thursday, Gov. Jay Nixon announced that a variety of Missouri businesses would see a drop in their workers comp rates. Companies pay for this insurance to avoid paying big costs when a worker gets hurt.

(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.


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 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 House and Senate have both passed a scaled-back version of a workers’ compensation reform bill.

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.

(via Flickr/KellyB)

The state auditor says Illinois hands out workers' compensation payments too easily and lacks enough employees to spot fraud.

Auditor General William Holland's report Wednesday recommends that lawmakers make further improvements to the troubled workers' comp program.

Holland found compensation for on-the-job injuries was made without medical evidence. Some benefits were paid where no request had been made.

The state paid $295 million from 2007 to 2010.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Republican leaders in the Missouri House say they’ve been negotiating with Governor Jay Nixon (D) over the two bills he vetoed last month.

The governor vetoed bills that would redefine workplace discrimination and that would place occupational disease claims solely within the workers’ compensation system House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says discussions have been productive, but that there’s been no compromise reached yet.

(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).

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

The Missouri Senate today overrode a veto by Governor Jay Nixon (D) that would make changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system.

But the likelihood that the House will also override the Governor’s veto is virtually nonexistent, according to Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka).  He says they just don’t have the votes, even within their own party.

“We would have to first convince our caucus," Jones said.  "And even if we did, we’re still simply three votes short on a bill that no Democrat, I believe, has supported to this point…that’s a tough vote.”

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has vetoed two workplace-related bills passed by Missouri lawmakers this year.  They are the first vetoes issued this year.

First, he vetoed the House version of the workplace discrimination bill, which would have redefined discrimination as a “motivating factor” instead of a “contributing factor” in any action taken by an employer against a worker.  The Senate version of the bill is still alive, however.  It was sponsored by State Senator Brad Lager (R, Savannah).

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri General Assembly has sent its first bill to Governor Jay Nixon (D) this year, which would revamp the state’s workers' compensation system.

The House passed the bill today, while the State Senate passed it last month -- it passed both chambers on partisan votes.  The bill would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses, and would restore workers’ comp coverage of occupational diseases.  State Rep. Dave Schatz (R, Sullivan) argued that it would give Missouri a more business-friendly climate that would be less subject to massively expensive court judgments.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would prohibit employees from suing co-workers for injuries they sustain on the job.

Senators voted 28-6 in favor of the bill Thursday. Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, who sponsored the measure, says the change will be fairer to workers and protect them from having to pay large court judgments.

The legislation also provides for workers' compensation coverage of occupational diseases. Such diseases were removed from the program under a 2005 law.


Wentzville Mayor: news couldn't be better

The United Auto Workers announced Tuesday that GM plans to invest $380 million and bring more than 1,800 jobs to its Wentzville plant as part of a proposed contract with the union.

Mayor Paul Lambi says he's hoping the union will ratify the contract on Monday.

"The announcement made by the UAW seems to be a positive indication that contract negotiations went well," said Lambi. " And it seems to me that I would expect that contract to be approved and ratified."

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony Monday on whether a state-created company needs more oversight, or has even outlived its usefulness.

Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company was created nearly 20 years ago to help small businesses obtain workers’ compensation insurance.  Forrest Miller of the Missouri Restaurant Insurance Trust, testified that the Trust he chairs is shutting down, and that the state-owned insurance company may be partially to blame.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a major overhaul of Illinois' workers compensation system.

Quinn signed the legislation Tuesday at a Navistar plant in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park. Quinn says the bill would help companies large and small save money and be more competitive, while protecting workers injured on the job.

The changes include:

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Joplin Clean-up Continues

Cleanup efforts in Joplin will move ahead today when Gov. Jay Nixon says crews will begin hauling away debris left by a massive tornado that leveled a third of the city and killed 139 people.

Government officials say the rubble will be taken to three landfills - two in Kansas and one in Lamar, Mo. Environmental officials have said the debris must be handled carefully because it could contain asbestos used in the construction of older buildings and other hazardous waste.

UPI/Rick Meyer

Obama Visits Joplin

Exactly a week after Joplin was hit by the deadliest tornado to strike the U.S in decades, President Barack Obama visited the Missouri city to offer hope to survivors and promises of help. Obama took to the stage during the Joplin Community Memorial Service, delivering a message of hope and support.

Along with promises to help rebuild the devastated community, Obama honored some of Joplin’s “heroes,” whom he says acted swiftly – often at the expense of their own lives – to save those around them.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation to limit workers’ compensation lawsuits. Lawmakers made changes to worker’s compensation rules in 2005, which the courts later determined gave employees the right to sue each other over workplace injuries. 

Republican Senator Jack Goodman of Lawrence County says his bill would eliminate that option.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky added to this report at 5:29 p.m. April 12, 2011.

Gov. Pat Quinn is taking his push for workers' compensation reform to Illinois business leaders.

Participants in Business Lobby Day in Springfield applauded the Democrat when he called for fixing a system critics say costs employers too much and is driving them from the state.