Elimination of WC Review Board Sought by Governor Walker of Wisconsin

On February 8, 2017 Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker  submitted his 2017-2019 budget recommendations under Assembly Bill 64 and Senate Bill 30.  Therein, Governor Walker has proposed the elimination of the State’s Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC).

Under current law, administrative law judge workers’ compensation decisions can be appealed to the LIRC, which is a three-person review board whose members are appointed by the governor. The LIRC has the power to confirm, overturn, or remand the issues presented to it. Decisions of the LIRC can be appealed to the state’s circuit courts. The new law would provide for appeal and review of administrative law judge workers’ compensation rulings to the administrator of the Division of Hearings and Appeals (DHA), but does no go into further detail.  The overall goal of the  proposed legislation is to speed up the appellate process.

The Joint Finance Committee will hold public hearings on the proposal and ultimately prepare its own budget recommendation. Then both houses of the legislature will debate until there is a compromise version of the bill voted on by each house. The Governor gets the final review where he can make line-item vetos. The final review is to occur by July 1, 2017.

Please feel free contact us with any Wisconsin worker’s compensation questions. Thanks to Partner Scott McCain for bringing this news to our attention.  Scott works out of the Chicago and Milwaukee offices of Inman and Fitzgibbons.