Applauding Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura’s veto of HB 351, the Alliance of American Insurers stated that the bill would have taken approximately $250 million from the reserves of the state’s Special Compensation Fund to cover cost overruns in the state budget.
“The Alliance opposed the so-called ‘Deficit Correction Legislation’ bill and asked the governor to veto it. We are pleased that Gov. Ventura saw the validity of our arguments,” Dave Anderson, Alliance vice president and assistant director of workers compensation and health, said.
State legislators saw the Fund’s reserves as “excess surplus” that could be used to balance the Minnesota State budget and figured they could “borrow from Peter to pay Paul,” Anderson wrote in letters to Gov. Ventura and state legislative leaders. “However, the Fund’s reserves are not excess, but are needed to pay the claims of injured workers.”
Anderson also argued that, “since the Fund is financed by assessments against self-insured employers and insurance companies, any decrease in its surplus would have had to been recouped through additional assessments against insurers that would have been passed on to employers. Hitting employers and insurers with higher assessments in an already slow economy would have severely weakened Minnesota’s economic climate.”
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