SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – The governor still says workers compensation is his biggest legislative priority this month, but he’s still offering few details about when lawmakers will see his plan on the floor.
Quinn says workers compensation reform should ensure employees are compensated for on the job injuries only, change the way arbitrators do their jobs, and reduce permanent partial disability payments.
He says his plan is more fair and balanced than the Republican-backed measure that failed and incorporates more changes, but did not elaborate much beyond that.
“I think our proposal will, when all’s said and done, be one that passes. [Sen. Kyle McCarter’s (R-Lebanon)] didn’t,” says the governor.
Several workers compensation reform measures are floating around in Springfield.
State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) introduced a measure a few weeks ago that would abolish the current system, and defer all cases to the circuit court system. Bradley says he’s serious about his plan – it’s not simply a political ploy.
“It’s not a joke or a threat,” he says. “I believe that the system is so broke, it’s a real possibility to look at. Give the courts a chance. The workers comp system has failed us.”
Bradley says the bill would take the workers compensation board’s $130-million dollar salary and give it to the circuit court system.
His measure remains on third reading in the House, which means he could call it for a vote at any time. It’s, so far, the only idea in legislation form. The governor’s office, and Senate democrats, are both working on their own plans.
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