Legislative Reform Efforts Continue
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Employment Law Council Workers’ Compensation Committee, reports that the Senate Executive Committee advanced two WC proposals with the support of the Chamber.
Although HB 2891 did contain language to address the Hollywood Casino decision to clarify that 19(k) penalties could be applied to unreasonable and vexatious delay of authorization for medical care, Senate President Cullerton filed an amendment that seeks to reverse the Will County Forest Preserve decision currently pending a rehearing at the Appellate level. As we reported almost three months ago, that important case dealt with redefining how benefits are calculated for a shoulder injury.
Although the 19k penalty issue is included in amendment 3 to HB 2891, the Chamber of Commerce did decide to support the measure provided the amendment addressing the Will County Forest Preserve case was also included in the pending legislation. Based on input from its members, the Chamber felt that this was a net positive for Illinois employers as the Act contains UR protections from 19(k) penalties in Section 8.7 (j).
In addition, HB 1084 was amended to require arbitrator appointments to be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. This was also an initiative of Senate President Cullerton which the Chamber supported.
Finally, the procurement reform initiative that the Chamber has been at the forefront of on behalf of the business community has an amendment requiring the State to move its workers’ compensation claims administration to private contractors. That measure is SB 2958.
We will continue to keep you updated as these efforts continue.