Sunday, April 20, 2014

Published:05/16/2012
Modified:05/18/2012

Over the course of the past several week, numerous drafts of language addressing occupational disease had been floated among the business community.  There continued to be growing concern about the enhanced remedy that was being required as part of the passage and acceptance of the occupational disease language.  New drafts of the language were again reviewed on Monday which continued to raise concerns.

While those discussions continued on HB 1403, HB 1540 addressing only the co-employee language was also waiting on the Senate Calendar of House Bills for Third Reading.  Late Tuesday, Senator Tom Dmpsey elected rather than going back to the co-employee and occupational disease provisions contained in the Senate Substitute for HB 1403, he instead took up HB 1540 containing the co-employee liability language and passed HB 1540 through the Senate.  Before adjourning yesterday, the House also took up HB 1540 and adopted the one amendment the Senate added to the legislation and it was Truly Agreed To And Finally Passed.  This bill has now been sent to the Governor for his consideration and signature.

While there were a number of us that had hoped to be able to pass SB 570 which addressed co-employee liability, occupational disease and second injury fund modifications this session, it became obvious given the differences of opinion and the things which the business community was going to have to accept in order to get a bill passed, it became inevitable that we needed to narrow the focus of the bill and pass what was contained in HB 1540.  This does resolve the co-employee liability issue.  We will be back next year again trying to address the occupational disease and the ongoing concerns surrounding the second injury fund.

Following the end of session, you will receive a full report on the activities of the last week, but we wanted to get this note out to you to keep you informed in what was transpiring in the final days of session.