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Workers' comp reform at heart of political dispute

For thousands of people across the state of Illinois, legal guidelines regarding financial compensation for work-related injuries and illnesses have a real and profound impact on them and their families' everyday lives. Workers' compensation guidelines directly affect employers and employees alike, setting standards for everything from compensation rates to eligibility requirements. It is for that reason, along with other factors, that state residents are monitoring the current political dispute over proposed workers' comp reform.

The proposed piece of legislation in question is lauded by many state Democrats as effective workers' comp reform, intended to save employers money while improving upon the functionality of workers' comp law. The bill recently passed in the state House of Representatives, and will now move on to the Senate for voting. However, the ultimate future of the new law is still unknown.

Republican representatives have reportedly said that the bill will be vetoed, and argued that it is being used as a political maneuver by the left. According to one Republican representative, the proposed legislation does not do enough to reform current workers' compensation policies. Beyond that, the governor argues that the bill would make the state less job friendly and deter employers from setting up shop in Illinois.

In response to the governor's objection to the proposed bill, some Democrats are arguing that he is using it to distract from issues in developing the state budget. There are also claims from the left of the aisle that the reforms that the governor is looking for would only further hurt injured workers.

Source: Illinois News Network, "House passes workers comp bill," Mark Fitton, June 4, 2015

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