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Action Expected on Dangerous Legislation to ‘Study’ the Fairness of State Workers’ Comp Laws

Take action today to defeat H.R. 635, the National Commission on State Workers’ Compensation Laws Act of 2009. NAMIC strongly encourages you to contact your federal representatives and senators, urging them not to support this misguided legislation.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., would establish a national commission to study state workers' compensation laws, and could be considered on the suspension calendar as early as this week. The suspension calendar is used for those pieces of legislation which are deemed non-controversial.

Under the bill, a national commission would study and evaluate the adequacy of all state workers' compensation laws. While H.R. 635 will affect all states, it is likely that this national commission will target specific states it feels are in need of reform, several of which are specifically mentioned in a letter sent by Rep. Baca to his colleagues seeking support for his legislation: California, Georgia, Missouri, Texas, and West Virginia. However, the business communities in all states should be concerned that a national commission is seeking to reform state laws at the federal level. The commission's report could very well form the basis for a general federalized workers' compensation law applicable to every state.

Additionally, the commission would reexamine the findings of the 1972 Workers Compensation commission, which made 19 major recommendations. The 1972 commission recommended that workers' compensation be compulsory in every state, every worker be covered, and that employees have the ability to file a workers' comp claim in either the state of hire, the state of employment, or the state where the injury occurred.

To help engage in this fight, please take action today.

Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Thursday, April 23, 2009 3:08:02 PM.

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