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Missouri House bill replaces Senate workers comp compromise

February 24, 2005
By: Tim Carnahan
State Capital Bureau

The Missouri House plan for injured Missouri workers might put judges in the hot seat. Tim Carnahan has more from the state Capitol.

Story:
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OutCue: SOC

The House plan would limit terms for judges hearing workers compensation cases to twelve years, a provision not in the original Senate bill.

GOP lawmakers anticipate House and Senate negotiations will change that in the final version of the bill.

Senator John Loudon authored the Senate version of the bill.

Actuality:LOUDONTL
RunTime: 5secs
OutCue: "...we're going to end up with some kind of review process."
Contents: "We're not going to end up on a term limited position. We're going to end up with some kind of review process."

Supporters say more judicial accountability could decrease judicial bias, increasing fairness in workers' compensation hearings.

House Democrats say judicial review could do the exact opposite, making judges more responsible to the majority party in charge of their review.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Carnahan.

###TDC###

The Missouri House has replaced a Senate plan for injured workers with one of their own. Tim Carnahan has more from the state Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

The House version reverses many compromises Democrats negotiated into the Senate bill.

The bill would reduce what injuries qualify for compensation and limit how long workers have to file claims.

St. Louis County Senator Tim Green says the House bill is a big step back.

Actuality:GREENWC
RunTime: 15secs
OutCue: "...too extreme."
Contents: "The bill the Senate passed was in anything somewaht fair, still not in support of the injured worker, but knowing the bill would pass it was something we could live with, but this bill is just too extreme."

The House bill would also create term limits for judges hearing workers' compensation cases.

But, GOP leaders now say the final bill could favor periodic judicial review over term limits.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Carnahan.

###TDC###

The Missouri House is going to have its say on a bill changing how injured workers receive compensation. Tim Carnahan has more from the state Capitol.

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In a broad stroke, the Missouri House submitted a bill replacing much of the Senate compromise on changes to workers' compensation law with greater restrictions for workers.

The House bill prompted St. Louis County Representative Thomas George to issue a warning to Missouri workers.

Actuality:GEORGE
RunTime: 4secs
OutCue: "...don't get hurt."
Contents: "Don't get hurt, don't get hurt, do not get hurt."

Supporters of the bill say it will streamline the process, lower employee fraud, and get workers back on the job more quickly.

The bill restricts what injuries qualify for compensation, and reduces how long workers have to file claims.

Workers aggravating previous injuries, or suffering from age-related conditions would not be eligible for compensation.

From the state Capitol, I'm Tim Carnahan.