Daily Archives: April 18, 2011

Brownback signs workers compensation bill

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.