In a reversal, the Illinois House of Representatives has passed a measure that aims to reform the state’s workers’ compensation system just days after it rejected a previous version of the legislation.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission reported that lawmakers passed the legislation on May 31.
The reform measure aims to reduce costs for businesses and cut down on fraud by reducing medical fees and tightening review of workers’ claims, according to the Illinois Information Service. One of the bill’s main supporters, Rep. John Bradley of Marion said the bill will save businesses more than $500 million. Gov. Pat Quinn has indicated he will sign the legislation.
Workers’ compensation reform has been riding a roller coaster during this legislative session. The Senate passed workers’ comp legislation but the House rejected it.
In reaction to lawmakers’ failure to fix the costly workers’ compensation system, on May 30 the Senate Executive Committee voted to abolish it. The House earlier in the session passed a similar measure.
Abolishing the system could mean that 50,000 workers’ comp cases a year would end up in the in the courts, the Associated Press reported.
Such a situation could slow payments to injured workers and expose business to the risk of huge lawsuit awards.