Ahhhh, sanity in a maelstrom. Or at least a hint of sanity in a maelstrom. It was reported yesterday that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill intended to establish a state-sponsored fund to provide workers' compensation insurance in Illinois. Taxpayers of Illinois can breathe a sigh of relief, or at least refocus their fears to all the other tax and spending pitfalls facing their nearly bankrupt and fiscally irresponsible state.
I wrote in June that this summer's efforts in Illinois would “represent interesting potential in the realm of failed workers' compensation reforms”. The focus of that article was the pending bill just vetoed by the Governor, HB 2622. I pointed out that of all the issues facing the state and its workers' compensation system, lack of available carriers was not at the top of the list. Or on the list at all, for that matter. I also might have alluded if the state ran its fund like it runs its prisons, or anything else for that matter, they would be screwed completely.
It's nice to know the Governor agrees with me. The world would be such a better place if more people did that.
The bill would have allowed the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission to loan millions of dollars to help create the “Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Co.”
It is not that I am against State Funds. I am on the record as touting the benefits of a properly managed fund and the services they provide their state. It is just that the politicians of Illinois should have absolutely nothing to do with any entity that collects cash and establishes a reserve. Because what you and I call a reserve they would no doubt call a “reservoir” of available cash for more waste, graft and corruption.
Apparently, the sponsor of the bill, State Senator Daniel Biss, is none too pleased with the veto. He has issued a statement denouncing the action. He said, "For two years, we've heard Gov. Rauner beat a drum about how important it is to reform workers' compensation. When given that opportunity, he maintains the status quo — choosing instead to protect the insurance industry and punish injured workers who will continue to bear the brunt of a broken system."
I would suggest to the good Senator that any reform doesn't necessarily equate to good reform. If you want to solve the problems of Illinois workers' comp, then you should probably propose a bill that actually addresses those problems. HB 2622 didn't do that.
I could see that all the way from Florida. And we should know; we are a state that excels in introducing solutions that do not in any way correlate to the issue they are intended to address. Governor Rauner, seemingly the only living person in Illinois with that title who is not incarcerated, obviously recognized the folly of the effort.
Good for him. Good for sanity. And good for Illinois, as well.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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