The State Senate will be voting on a package of workers compensation reform bills strongly supported by AGC. Please take a moment to urge your Senator to vote YES on all of these bills:
SB 5127 – Allows any worker regardless of age (currently only those 55 and older may do so) to accept structured settlements in lieu of lifetime pensions. Current limits on the structured settlement program in addition to being unfair to younger workers have resulted in far less savings to the workers comp system than the department had anticipated which could lead to higher premiums.
SB 5126 – Currently the settlements for pain and suffering cannot be recouped by LNI or the employer through third party recovery. This would allow recovery to occur fairly and settlements on third party cases to accurately reflect what is for pain and suffering loss and what is medical and/or vocational loss.
SB 5124 – Simplifies and adds certainty to the calculation of workers compensation benefits. The current method of setting the wage rate is time consuming and cause for unnecessary litigation.
SB5125 – Redefines “occupational diseases” to be a condition that must arise out of the course of employment and be proximately caused by the distinctive conditions of that employment. The increased frequency of occupational diseases for the natural aging process is one that has been seen on many cases. This legislation would put back in place the original intent of what the law was designed to cover for Industrially related Occupational Diseases.
If you have questions on these bills please call the AGC’s Legislative office at 360.352.5000.