Hawaii Governor Vetoes Workers’ Comp Bills

July 12, 2007

The Hawaii Legislature has failed to override Gov. Linda Lingle’s vetoes of two workers’ compensation bills. A two-thirds majority vote was required in both the House and Senate to override the vetoes. Both bills failed the receive the required votes so will not become law.

SB 1060 Workers’ Compensation System, the “omnibus” workers compensation bill would have required that physicians be mutually selected by the employer and the claimant, and would have prohibited the termination of medical benefits and temporary disability without a prior order of the Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

HB 855, the Uninterrupted Medical Treatment bill, would have ensured that uninterrupted medical care is provided to an injured employee, including when doctors clear workers to return to work, until the director of labor and industrial relations rendered a final decision on the matter.

Local businesses likely were pleased with the Governor’s decision, as the Chamber of Comerce indicated that SB 1068 alone woud have increased costs in the workers’ comp system by $68 million.

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