LaHood co-sponsors bill for workers' compensation reform

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

State Senator Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) signed on as co-sponsor to a bill seeking workers’ compensation reform. SB 1349 sponsored by Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) addresses the high cost of workers’ compensation in Illinois by amending the Worker’s Compensation Act.

The bill makes reforms to Illinois’ costly system to help relieve the burden it places on businesses and employers. These reforms promote a more business friendly atmosphere and encourage businesses to settle and expand in Illinois promoting job creation.

“Workers’ compensation reform is a top priority for Caterpillar Inc. and other businesses in my district as part of an effort to create a more business friendly environment in Illinois. Early this week Caterpillar Inc. CEO Doug Oberhelman specifically discussed workers’ compensation reform with Governor Quinn at their meeting in Peoria,” LaHood said adding, “It is my goal to have this workers’ compensation reform addressed by the end of the spring session.”  

The bill clarifies what kinds of incidents fall under coverage of the act and stipulates that the accident must be the primary factor in causing the medical issue.  It also says that benefits will not be paid to an employee who was intoxicated at the time of their injury.

Other reforms in the bill are aimed at helping to reduce the cost and burden of worker’s compensation insurance for employers.

“Enacting meaningful worker’s compensation reforms is another important step toward getting Illinois’ financial house in order,” says LaHood. “The high cost of providing these benefits not only places a burden on private employers, but also on local and state governments who employ police and fire departments.  It’s time to take a careful look at what we are asking of these employers.”

A worker’s compensation system has been in place in Illinois since 1912. Through the system benefits are provided to workers who have been hurt while on the job or who have suffered illness related to their work. All employers must purchase worker’s compensation insurance and workers can not be charged to receive these benefits.