THE FIGHT CONTINUES AGAINST THE FEDERALIZATION OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION
As was previously discussed on the blawg (http://www.alabamaworkerscompblawg.com/template_permalink.asp?id=144 ) work continues in Congress in opposition to the possible federalization of Workers’ Compensation laws.
There was an attempt to push the bill, H.R. 635, through Congress via the Suspension Calendar (which is an expedited procedure that is generally used for non-controversial measures), but this was blocked after many people contacted their Congressional delegation. Because of the calls and emails, the bill’s supporters got the message that they could not advance this bill through an expedited process. The Chamber and other groups are continuing the grassroots effort to educate their members, and the public about this harmful bill.
However, H.R. 635 could be included as an amendment to a larger piece of legislation, like health care or OSHA reform. Doug Holmes, President of UWC – Strategic Services on Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation, along with AIA, and the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCI), drafted a resolution opposing H.R. 635 which will be offered for approval at the annual meetings of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) this summer. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has similarly been preparing a resolution opposing H.R. 635 for consideration at the ALEC meeting. In addition, Bruce Wood, Associate General Counsel, American Insurance Association (AIA), will be speaking on a panel specifically addressing H.R. 635, at an American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds conference in Washington, D.C.
Work continues to be done in opposition to H.R. 635 and members of Congress continue to be educated about this bill and the detrimental effects it will have on state workers’ compensation systems.