No Wisconsin here.
In contrast to the upper Midwest where Republican governors and labor unions are at each others’ throats over collective bargaining, the once-contentious issue of reform of the Kansas workers’ compensation system was settled Monday with a negotiated compromise and a stroke of the governor’s pen.
In a ceremony at Dondlinger Construction offices in south Wichita, Gov. Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2134 into law.
The new statute is designed to two purposes — increase the ceiling on benefit claims for injured workers while protecting employers from having to pay for injuries that happen away from work.
Some of the key provisions:
– Raises the maximum benefit payable for a disabling injury from $125,000 to $155,000 and the maximum death benefit from $250,000 to $300,000.
– Raises the threshold for injuries at work to be eligible for workers’ compensation; excludes injuries caused by fighting, horseplay and in some cases, failure to use protective equipment properly.
– Clarifies that employers are eligible to credit against workers’ compensation payments for employees’ pre-existing conditions.