In what would have
been a historic reform of the Illinois Worker's Compensation Bill, greatly
impacting the rights of
Senate. The 120-page Bill sponsored by Senator Kyle McCarter severely limited
the ability for worker's to file a claim for injuries, while impacting their
ability to get proper treatment for their injuries.
The Bill was
defeated in the Senate last night by a vote of 25 yes, 6 no and 28 present (no
vote). It needed 30 yes votes to
pass. The six "no" votes were all
Democrats and included Senators: A. Collins, Delgado, Kotowski, Landek,
Lightford & Sandoval.
The supporters of
the Bill claim that it would have drastically reduced worker's compensation
position with neighboring states with more restrictive compensation laws. It also contained provisions that would have
required the use of American Medical Association guidelines to determine
impairment to better reflect the true extent of an injury.
The supporters of
the Bill assume that many of the worker's compensation claims are fraudulent,
when in fact it is a small percentage.
It assumes that companies do not play a part in the process when some
companies do take advantage of their workers by exposing them to risky work
conditions. The proposed bill would have
taken away the rights for injured parties, leaving them without retribution.
The battle for
reform continues Downstate as our politician's posture for control after the
last Administration was unable to pass a change in the Worker's Compensation
act which would have been fairer to the worker's. This was all part of a larger package that
included an increase in our state income tax that was passed.
The bottom line is
that a drastic change in the current Worker's Compensation Act will only hurt
the injured parties that need benefits and quality medical care. The savings to the companies and taxpayers is
unclear. This is more of a political
battle for power and to create some change to look good than a dramatic benefit
to companies and taxpayers.