Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has introduced sweeping workers’ compensation reform bills in both the House and the Senate. House Bill 4223, filed by Republican Representative Jim Durkin, would require an injured worker to prove that an accidental injury arising out of the course of employment is the major contributing cause of the medical condition or injury for which compensation is sought. This is completely contrary to the current Illinois law on the subject. This would eliminate or reduce most benefits for these types of injuries, and thrust the cost of the injuries onto the backs of the general taxpayers in Illinois.

Legislation filed Friday, May 22, 2015, by Republican Senator Radogno in the Illinois Senate would likewise question current benefits to which injured workers are entitled to following a work-related injury.

Prior to both of these bills being introduced, House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat, introduced three work comp reform proposals as amendments to House Bill 1287. They mirrored the legislation proposed by Governor Rauner, and they were voted down by the Democratic majority without a single “yes” vote in favor of the bill.

Senator Radogno called this “political drama” on the part of the House Speaker’s call for a vote; now, she turns around and attempts her own political drama by filing a Senate House Bill that would continue to place Illinois’ financial turnaround directly on the backs of injured workers in Illinois by taking away benefits in Illinois’ workers’ compensation system.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding this political struggle to defend the rights of injured workers in Illinois.

Bruce Rauner

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