March 22, 2011

There may be a new middle ground on workers' comp - ESB 5566

The bad ESB 5566 to pressure injured workers to settle for lump-sum payments may have met a counter in a package of bills that came up for a hearing today in House Labor and Workforce Development Committee.

These bills aren’t perfect, but if legislators insist on continuing to pursue cost savings beyond the $218 million already approved this session, these new bills could be a more responsible course of action than dismantling the system, which is what ESB 5566 would do.

The new bills are:
  • HB 2023 that would offset already-paid partial disability awards from the amount of a total disability award, should the injury prove to permanently keep the worker from returning to work.
  • HB 2025 that would freeze the system’s annual cost-of-living adjustments for the 2012 fiscal year.
  • HB 2026 that would create an industrial insurance rainy day fund.

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