Workers' Compensation | St. Louis Public Radio

Workers' Compensation

The Illinois state seal
The Illinois state seal / Jeremy Wilburn | Flickr

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has been busy in the last few days, having signed into law bills that restrict cooperation with federal immigration authorities, automatically register eligible voters when they get a license, make it easier for transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificates and re-establish the Illinois Muslim American Advisory Council.

But the Republican also has used his veto powers on college loan protection, limits on what employers can ask job candidates and a workers’ compensation plan. Here's a rundown of the action:

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon followed through Tuesday with an apparent shift in his position on government retention of the public’s personal information, by vetoing a bill that would have mandated a state database – accessible to employers – of all Missourians who file workers’ compensation claims.

(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 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.

Troubled Ill. injury-claim system hit in audit

Apr 25, 2012
(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.

Mo. Senate passes workers' comp bill

Feb 16, 2012
(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 29, 2012 - Soon after the Indiana state House voted a few days ago in favor of making Indiana a "right-to-work" state, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry fired off a tweet alerting its thousands of followers of the bill's progress.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 28, 2011 - After Missouri's General Assembly failed to accomplish many of its goals this year in regular and special session, lawmakers are looking to next year to complete unfinished business -- and tackle complex issues.

The session starts Jan. 4.

Morning headlines: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sep 21, 2011
Flickr/GoTRISI

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.

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn signs workers' compensation reform

Jun 28, 2011
(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:

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