As many of you may know, the 96th session of the Illinois General Assembly ended yesterday in the very early morning hours following several weeks of perhaps more activity than they have seen in the past six or more months. With topics such as tax increases, the death penalty and the continuing budget crisis looming before it, the legislators apparently lost interest in workers’ compensation reform and simply didn’t bother to call the legislation for a vote. Word is that the proposed legislation fell into a trash heap with several proposed bills. In short, workers’ compensation reform lost steam and is now a dead issue.
The upside with all of the hearings and debate regarding workers’ compensation reform is that it made the news – it was discussed along with the issues generating that discussion. If nothing else, the rising costs of workers’ compensation to employers, both insured and self-insured, both private and public, has come to light and has been put in front of the legislators. There may be no reform for many years to come, but as employers now face even higher costs of doing business in Illinois (i.e. a 48% income tax increase!), they can add costs of workers’ compensation to the list and not have legislators and others appear befuddled as to what that means.
Perhaps someday another call for workers’ compensation reform will be heard. In the meantime, our firm continues to represent the interests of our clients throughout Illinois, and we welcome the opportunity to work with you.