After a month of meetings on the issue, the House Subcommittee on Insurance and Banking voted 14-1 to pass workers’ compensation reform legislation, PCB IBS 17-01.
During consideration, on an 8-7 vote, the committee narrowly beat back an attempt supported by big business lobbyists to eliminate carrier-paid fees.
Those voting to eliminate carrier-paid fees were: Beshears, Clemons, Fant, Ingoglia, McGhee, Stevenson, and Stone. Those supporting injured workers were: Burgess, Santiago, Stark, DuBose, M. Grant, Moraitis, Russell, and Shaw.
The amendment was offered despite estimates from the insurance industry-dominated group NCCI that the reform legislation as proposed would reduce costs for employers by five percent or more.
Richard Chait, chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Florida Justice Association, issued a written statement following the committee’s vote on the legislation.
“We are always hopeful when the legislative process moves a step closer to progress on this important issue, as the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee did today,” he said. “Workers’ compensation must serve the interests of businesses and their workers who get injured on the job – not an insurance industry that takes advantage of the system to better line its own pockets.”
In addition to Richard Chait; Kim Syfrett and Brian Sutter worked hard in Tallahassee to help Florida’s injured workers.
The bill is waiting to be referenced to additional committees.