Ives argues workers' comp bill should make things better, not worse
The workers' compensation bill that Democrats passed late Wednesday will give businesses another reason to flee Illinois, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) said during House debate.
“Here we sit with a workers' comp bill that is not just inadequate; it’s actually going to make things worse here in the state of Illinois," she said. "Worse. So, this is all one big show. I don’t know why we are going through with this.”
She called the bill a failure resulting from the Democrats' refusal to work with Republicans.
“We’re discussing a workers' comp bill that started back in January in the Senate with a comprehensive proposal between the Senate Republican and Democrats,” Ives said. “You’ve had businesses involved in that discussion. You’ve had people at the table making real compromises on what to do with workers' compensation. But here we are on May 31. The point is that you all know that the governor is going to veto this bill, so why are we working on this bill?”
HB2525, sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville), would enact measures to monitor and regulate workers' compensation rates and premiums by requiring insurers to submit rates to the Illinois Department of Insurance for examination of potential overcharges, thereby ensuring that employers are paying rates relative to the market.
Hoffman argued that the bill will keep insurance rates in check, but Ives countered that the business community opposes the measure. They don't think it is reform and the state is bleeding middle class jobs over the issue, Ives asserted.
Passing HB2525 would be an exercise in futility, she said.
“Maybe we pass this," Ives said. "Maybe we ought to vote this in [and] vote all the garbage in. Let’s see what happens after that. Let’s watch the businesses flee. Let’s continue to just make it worse for businesses. At what point will you guys wake up and listen to what is happening on the ground?”
Ives concluded that the passage of HB2525 will send a message to businesses: Illinois doesn't care.
“They’re just going to look at what we are doing here on the last day of session and say, 'Nobody is for us. They don’t care about our interests. They don’t care about jobs. They don’t care about the people of Illinois,’” Ives said.
HB2525 now awaits Gov. Bruce Rauner's response.
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