Wednesday, April 11, 2007

SC Chamber Labels w/comp "reform" business negative

I have to ask this question. Haven't we been down this path before? The Senate passes a bill that is supposed to be "reform". On face value the legislation has good intentions with changes that will make a difference. But when you delve into the details, you find loopholes and side steps that offer minimum reform. The worker's comp bill was one of those squishy bills that have some good things in it, but does not rise to the ideals of what I call reform. Again, I had to vote my conscience and voted "no".

As a small businessman as well as a healthcare provider, I have experience with these issues. A delicate balance exists between rights and health of employees and restraints on businesses. If the balance is not just right, we'll see huge economic development implications.

SC's worker's comp rates are among the highest in the nation, yet our benefits are below average. We must find reforms that help reduce our escalating rates, encourage insurance carrier competition, & keep adequate coverage for our employees. I doubt if this bill will meet these goals.

I've got many colleagues that voted in favor of this bill for the reason of getting a vehicle out that may be improved in the House. Also, the bill does eliminate the 2nd injury fund & defines circumstances of fraud which are good things.

SC Chamber of Commerce Report