WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lawmaker Pushing for More Worker Comp Changes

Sep 1, 2013

Illinois is seeing results in changes the state made a couple years ago to its workers compensation system.  But a Republican lawmaker said it's still not enough.

Businesses will be paying less for workers' compensation insurance  -- premium rates are dropping by 4.5%.  Supporters of Illinois' overhaul of workers' compensation say it's proof that the changes made in 2011 worked.

Dwight Kay
Credit Illinois General Assembly website

But Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) said Illinois' rates are still too high.

“We still are not competitive with the states around us with regard to reforming our workers' compensation system,” said Kay.

Kay said most of the savings come from paying doctors less for treating injured workers. He doesn't consider that “reform.” He said Illinois needs to make employees prove an injury happened on the job before forcing a company to pay a settlement.

But his proposed changes didn't gain any traction in the General Assembly.

Unions say the current rules make sure employers keep workplaces safe, and that workers are protected if they get hurt.