IL – This evening, the Illinois Senate voted down a Republican-backed proposal to reform workers’ compensation laws in
Illinois. Illinois State Senator Gary Forby (D–Benton) released the following statement regarding his decision not to support Senate Bill 1349:
“There’s no question that changes have to be made to reform our state’s workers’ compensation system so companies will come to our state to do business. It’s also absolutely vital that we have thorough discussions with all interested parties so a middle ground can be found and all sides can live with the solution. The bill before us today does not take into account all sides of the issue.
“Everybody’s going to have to give a little if we want to come up with a responsible agreement. But this bill demands that workers give up too much. The proposal would be devastating for workers’ well-being because it gives employers an unreasonable amount of ammo to deny benefits for on-the-job injuries. It also gives employers the authority to hand-pick a doctor, instead of choosing one you’ve gone to for years and are comfortable with. These are radical solutions that I do not agree with.
“It’s important to remember why our workers’ compensation laws were established in the first place: to protect the health of the hard-working people of
Illinois and to maintain fairness for employers, too. We need to allow more time to reach an agreement. I am encouraged by the progress on education reform that was put into motion today after months of good faith negotiations. Because of months of talks, we reached an agreement that required a little bit of sacrifice from everyone. We need to do this for worker’s compensation reform. We can’t let one side do all the taking and the other do all the giving.”