Mont. Work Comp Compromise Moves Forward

March 31, 2011

The Montana House is giving its blessing to a deal between Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Democrats to cut workers’ compensation insurance rates universally seen as among the most expensive in the country.

The path for the proposal has been paved ever since the administration and Republican legislative leaders announced the compromise last week. It marks the first big policy deal so far this session between Schweitzer, House Speaker Mike Milburn and Senate President Jim Peterson.

The House endorsed it 92-8 on Tuesday. The Senate passed Montana’s workers’ comp reform bill on March 28.

Supporters say it could cut workers’ comp premiums by 40 percent within three years by trimming benefits to workers and cutting costs in other areas. Labor interests have been cool toward the deal, as have trial lawyers.

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