By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
Legislation to update the state’s workers’ compensation system to provide better care for injured workers and more affordable workers’ compensation costs for Kentucky businesses passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee Wednesday.
House Bill 2, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, is supported by a large coalition of organizations in the Commonwealth including the Kentucky Chamber, Kentucky Retail Federation, Kentucky League of Cities, Kentucky School Board Association, Kentucky Association of Counties, Kentucky Guild of Brewers, Kentucky Association of Economic Development, UPS, Ford, Toyota, and many others.
The legislation seeks to update the state’s workers compensation system, which has seen no significant statutory changes since 1996. House Bill 2 would:
- Clarify that the limitation on reopening claims already in Kentucky’s law will be applied
- Set appropriate limits for filing claims on injuries identified years after exposure
- Ensure the proper standard of care through treatment guidelines
- Address the state’s opioid addiction problem through formulary guidelines
- Encourage employers to bring workers back to work quickly
- Establish appropriate durations of payment of medical claims
Kentucky Chamber Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Ashli Watts testified in support of the bill, along with sponsor Rep. Koenig. Watts said “The Kentucky General Assembly has recently taken a number of pro-business actions that played a strong role in delivering a record number of new jobs and investments in the state over the past year. But writing the next chapter in this success story will require action to modernize our workers’ compensation system.”
House Bill 2 now moves to the full Senate for a vote.