Associated Industries Promoting Work Comp Reform in Senate
February 6 – AIM President/CEO Ray McCarty and our team of lobbyists has been busy working on several key issues for employers this week.
Topping the list is Senate Bill 1, a bill that would reform the Second Injury Fund (SIF) and ensure occupational diseases are covered under the workers’ compensation law. Senator Scott Rupp filed the bill, representing a broad package of reforms and modest funding increases that have been endorsed by AIM and every other significant employer group.
“Some senators, obviously influenced by plaintiffs’ attorneys, are engaging in delay tactics as the Missouri Senate considers this legislation that is so important to all Missouri employers,” said McCarty. “Employers are willing to pay a little more for the Second Injury Fund in exchange for limiting the types of claims that are eligible for payment from the Fund and including occupational diseases within the Workers’ Compensation Law where it belongs. We hope the plaintiffs’ attorneys think about the positive impact this bill could have on their clients, rather than delaying the solution. But make no mistake – employers will not support a blank check made payable to the trial bar”, McCarty continued.
Amendments have been proposed that would have temporarily increased the SIF surcharge to 7% and others that would have permanently raised the surcharge cap to 4.5%. AIM and other business groups stood firm against these proposals. The current SIF surcharge is capped at 3% of the amount of workers’ compensation premiums.
The bill will be debated further this week. Stay tuned and also be sure to participate in AIM’s Monday Morning Legislative Webinar for the most current information on this and other issues of importance to Missouri employers. If you are not registered for the webinar, please contact Nathan Dampf in our office at 573-634-2246.