MSIA Legislative Report - February 22, 2013
In preparation of inclement weather, legislators adjourned on Wednesday at noon and headed home canceling all scheduled hearings for both Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Before adjourning, the House approved a tax amnesty measure, HB 55, sponsored by Representative Flanigan. The bill would require delinquent tax payers to pay what they owe without penalties. The proposal was approved by a 153-1 vote and would add an estimated $75 million to state coffers. However, it's important to note this funding has already been factored into the Governor's budget.
There was also a flurry of budget activity this week with most House appropriation committees holding mark-ups. Those that completed mark-ups voted their respective budget bills out of committee. These bills will now go before the full House Budget Committee where a similar process will take place.
Workers' Compensation Claims Database
The Senate gave initial approval to SB 34, sponsored by Senator Cunningham, on Tuesday and the bill received final approval on Wednesday by a vote of 33-0. SB 34 requires the Division of Workers' Compensation to develop and maintain a workers' compensation claims database. Senator Cunningham offered a floor substitute which stipulates the database is only accessible to potential employers during a pre-hire period and requires the act to be fully implemented by July 1, 2014. In addition, two amendments were adopted including:
SA 1 (Sifton) - Allows the Division to maintain a record of all claims records reviewed through the Division's website, including the identity of the potential employee and of the potential employer - adopted by a voice vote.
SA 2 (Keaveny) - States that any person that fraudulently accesses the database shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor - adopted by a voice vote.
Attached is the latest Bill Summary And Status Report. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact the MSIA office.