Senate gives first-round approval to workers’ compensation, second injury fund legislation

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 8:28 am

The Missouri Senate gave initial approval to a measure that would modify the state’s Second Injury Fund and Workers’ Compensation system. Senate Bill 1 is one of the Senate’s biggest priorities for this legislative session. Senate Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said the bill will create a more competitive climate for job creators and encourage economic growth while resolving issues within the now insolvent Second Injury Fund.

“We wanted to address the Second Injury Fund, and take care of those people who were injured on the job and are not receiving compensation,” said Dempsey. “This bill also limits the liability exposure for Missouri businesses, keeping companies and jobs within the state.”

Since 2008, funding has drastically declined and now the Second Injury Fund cannot meet its obligation to Missourians. This bill will help alleviate that problem.

Bill sponsor Sen. Scott T. Rupp, R-Wentzville, said he was willing to take on this controversial issue because our state has no other choice at this point than to resolve the funding problem.

“Right now, the fund can’t meet its obligation,” said Rupp. “Our liabilities have vastly increased. This bill is the best solution for employers, employees and the state of Missouri. Senate Bill 1 will protect injured workers and limit the liability employers will face while fixing the funding problem.”

Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said approval of the bill shows the Senate’s commitment to moving crucial legislation this session.

The bill now moves to the perfection calendar. To learn more about this bill and other bills, or to track its progress, visit www.senate.mo.gov.

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