Andersson's plea to wait on workers' comp vote goes unheeded
The Illinois House passed a workers' compensation reform bill despite vehement objections from Republicans like Rep. Steven Andersson (R-Geneva) who argued that negotiations on it had not concluded.
“You have to understand that we now can’t vote for these for these bills,” Andersson said. “I am certainly going to urge the members of my caucus not to vote for these bills, not necessarily because they are all that bad – some of them might be right there, some of them might be close – but if we vote 'yes' now, that ends the negotiations. Those negotiations are over because we’ve already agreed with you, and we are not quite there yet. This is not right, quite frankly.”
Democratic-backed HB200 requires that insurance companies providing coverage for businesses have their premium rates approved by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, which will also establish fee scheduling for various procedures. Gov. Bruce Rauner and many Republican lawmakers say the measure does not contain true reform.
Andersson asserted that negotiations on the bill and other reforms were going very well and the House should not rush into a vote.
“There has been no indication that these bills have become a final best offer that we either have to take or leave, so I have to ask myself, what is going on?” he said. “What is happening? If it’s not a final and best offer – which it certainly doesn’t appear to be, since we are still negotiating – then I ask, what are we doing here with this? Why are we doing this?”
Andersson urged negotiations to go on.
“These bills are not ripe," he said. "This is not what we should be doing. Let’s get back to the business of the real negotiations that are happening. Then let’s bring either these bills back – if this is the best we are going to get –and then we’ll vote on them for real. But until we are done, let’s not do that now. I don’t want to say anything or do anything that will derail those negotiations, but I am respectfully saying I’m urging the 'no' votes because this is not the time for this.”
HB200 passed the House 64-48 and was sent to the Senate.
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127 South 1st Street
Geneva, IL 60134