Gov. Pat Quinn has removed eight of Illinois’ 31 workers’ compensation arbitrators.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the removals are part of a reform package of the state’s workers’ comp system.
According to the newspaper, Illinois had the third-highest workers’ comp premium costs in the country last year. Settlements for claims at one correctional center alone have cost taxpayers almost $12 million.
Quinn says workers’ comp claims will be randomly assigned to arbitrators in the future, and arbitrators will rotate among the state’s hearing sites every 90 days.
The cases will be randomly assigned by computer to the sites.
Quinn says those moves are to avoid the possibility that long-standing relationships between arbitrators and attorneys could “compromise the integrity of the process.”
Arbitrators are paid $115,800 a year.