Illinois taxpayers could save in government’s workers’ compensation costs if there are further reforms. That’s according to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner
Further reforming workers’ comp in Illinois is one of the governor’s goals. Rauner said he doesn’t want Illinois to be the at the top or bottom, but rather the middle of the pack.
“I’ve asked to set a goal -- let’s be average,” Rauner said. “That’s hard for us on bad things, but let’s be average. Let’s not be the worst, let’s be average.”
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“If we’re average,” Rauner said, “we will grow our economy and recruit manufacturing firms here.”
The governor said other states are more competitive with their workers’ comp costs which attracts jobs away from Illinois.
Meanwhile Rauner said Speaker Michael Madigan is wrong that further reforms to workers’ comp would hurt the middle class. Rauner said the only ones who would be hurt by the reforms are the trial lawyers.
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association President Perry Browder, in response, said the governor is attempting to diminish the rights of injured workers, boost profits for the insurance industry and shift risk and burden onto taxpayers.
However, Rauner said taxpayers could save on the cost of workers’ compensation in the public sector.
“Workers’ comp reform could save Chicago taxpayers tens of millions -- over time -- hundreds of millions of dollars,” Rauner said, “we could save taxpayer money by doing it in government.”
Browder said injured workers lost many rights in the 2011 workers' comp reforms and any further changes to workers' comp laws should focus on regulating insurance premiums, not quote “further curtailing the rights of injured workers.”
Workers’ compensation is among several reform items the governor says are needed to make for a more friendly business climate in Illinois. Leading Democrats say 2011 reforms are bringing costs down but the governor says Illinois still needs to compete with other states.