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Worker’s Compensation Bill – Interesting Votes

March 8 – When the Worker’s Compensation bill that addresses co-employee liability and occupational disease was passed by the Missouri House yesterday, there were several interesting votes.

One Democrat voted for the bill, Rep. Terry Swinger, while 16 Republicans voted against the bill.  Four Democrats and four Republicans were absent for the vote.  The bill is crucial for employers and workers because it fixes a flaw in the law that allows one employee to sue another when the employee is acting in the regular course of employment and accidentally injures another worker.  The bill also makes sure workers continue to receive prompt medical attention and do not have to prove an employer is at fault when the employee contracts an occupational disease, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.  The Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys opposed the bill, as did organized labor.

All Democrats (except Rep. Swinger) and the following Republicans voted against passage of these two common-sense measures (click on the name for a link to their official webpage with contact information):

Rep. Randy Asbury, Rep. Jay Barnes, Rep. Jeff Grisamore, Rep. Galen Higdon, Rep. Brent Lasater, Rep. Melissa Leach, Rep. Nick Marshall, Rep. John McCaherty, Rep. Chris Molendorp, Rep. Myron NethRep. Ronald Schieber, Rep. Ryan Silvey, Rep. Chrissy Sommer, Rep. Ray Weter, Rep. Billy Pat Wright, and Rep. Anne Zerr.

These Representatives were absent for the vote (click on the name for a link to their official webpage with contact information):

Rep. Bert Atkins (Democrat), Rep. Doug Funderburk (Republican), Rep. Leonard Hughes IV (Democrat), Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (Republican), Rep. Mike McGhee (Republican), Rep. Kevin McManus (Democrat), Rep. Tim Meadows (Democrat), and Rep. Vicki Schneider.

It is important that all Representatives and Senators support employers and protect workers by supporting this bill.   We hope Governor Nixon will see the importance or restoring these protections for both workers and employees and sign the bill.  Although the bill is now passed, there is a possibility the bill may be vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon. If vetoes the bill, we will need the support of at least two-thirds of the House to override the Governor’s veto.

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