Illinois workers compensation moves through state Senate

Senators have given the nod to new restrictions on insurance companies writing this type of policy.

New Illinois workers compensation legislation has received approval in the state Senate. It applies new restrictions to insurance companies that write workers compensation policies.

The insurance legislation passed the state Senate this week in a vote of 34 to 21.

This Illinois workers compensation legislation is a mirror image of one that was approved by lawmakers in the state last year. However, when that proposal reached Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk, he vetoed it.

This year, lawmakers are giving the workers compensation legislation another try. Republicans have been complaining for quite some time that the cost of workers compensation is damaging to Illinois’ economic growth. On the other hand, Democrats have said that they applied a restriction to payouts and tightened regulations regarding worker injuries in 2011. However, insurance companies have not met those changes with the applicable premiums reductions.

Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) introduced the Illinois workers compensation bill.

Raoul’s bill would make it necessary for insurance companies that write policies for workers compensation to file their rates with the Illinois Department of Insurance. Should those rates involve a change, they would need to provide the department with adequate justification in order to receive approval.

Furthermore, to receive workers compensation benefits an employee would need a causal connection between his or her work and the injury that was suffered. Moreover, the new legislation would also make the guidelines stricter in order to determine whether or not an employee’s disability qualifies for coverage through this type of policy

The Illinois workers compensation bill’s next step is to the state House. Should it receive approval there, it will move forward to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk once more. It is as yet unclear as to whether or not Rauner intends to sign the bill this time.

The bill is not expected to meet enough resistance in the House that would stop it from moving forward. However, the House passed the bill in 2017, too, before Rauner stopped it in its tracks. A spokesperson for Rauner, Rachel Bold, said the bill should not be considered “real” reform. She added that Rauner’s hope is to repair the system’s flaws using the power of bipartisan efforts.

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