Mo. May Tighten Workers’ Comp Rules

February 10, 2003

A bill before the Missouri legislature would narrow the kinds of injuries covered by the state’s workers’ compensation system, according to the Associated Press.

The state has reportedly lost 90,000 jobs in the last 20 months and Missouri business leaders blame the costly workers’ compensation system, which compare unfavorably nearby states such as Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The bill would change the state’s standard for when employers must pay claims when its relation to actual work is a “dominant” factor rather than a “substantial” factor.

Rep. Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, is sponsoring the bill, while Democrats adamantly oppose the bill.

Arkansas and Oklahoma are picking up the Missouri jobs, Wilson said, because they have tighter workers’ compensation laws and lower premiums.

Democrats complain the bill contains ambiguous language that would only worsen the problem.

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