Illinois Democratic senators Friday approved changes to the state’s workers’ compensation laws over the objections of Republicans who said the changes didn’t go far enough. […]
Changes to workers’ compensation have also been a demand of Rauner, who said it will improve the state’s business climate and help create jobs.
The Senate approved the bill on a 35-19 vote with one voting “present.” Sen. Sam McCann, R-Plainview, was the only Republican to vote for the legislation. […]
The changes include new standards for use of American Medical Association impairment guidelines, creation of standards for prescription drug coverage, categorizing certain injuries and review of workers’ compensation insurance rates. Democrats have long complained that savings from a 2011 revision of workers’ comp laws were not passed on to employers in the form of reduced rates.
“I think we have a good product here that should further reduce the cost to Illinois employers,” said Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago.
Despite Gov. Bruce Rauner saying earlier this week the Senate was within spitting distance of agreeing on meaningful fixes to Illinois’ workers’ compensation system, Democratic Senators passed bills sent to them by the House that Republicans and the state’s leading manufacturing group characterized as distractions and fake reforms. […]
Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s Mark Denzler called the bill fake reform and something that will actually make the state’s climate worse. […]
Denzler said the governor should veto both measures.
“These are not workers’ compensation reform bills. These are not going to reduce costs. They’re not going to make Illinois more attractive,” Denzler said. “And really what you’re going to see with $5 billion in new taxes that were proposed and no reforms, you’re going to see every other state around Illinois sending thank you cards to the Senate Democrats.”