Business Groups Open to a Workers' Comp Fix

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 13, 2011 | Go to article overview

Business Groups Open to a Workers' Comp Fix


Byline: John O'Connor Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois business leaders welcomed Gov. Pat Quinn's call Tuesday for workers' compensation reform, but a key lawmaker cautioned there's a long road ahead before reaching any compromise.

Quinn told participants in Business Lobby Day in Springfield that an overhaul should happen before the legislature adjourns at the end of May.

He reiterated a plan he introduced earlier this month that includes a $500 million cut in the amount paid for medical procedures, enhanced authority to find and prosecute fraud, and tighter standards for arbitrators who decide work-related injury claims.

"There will be changes that for some will be inconvenient," Quinn told representatives of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, local chambers and small-business owners. "Sometimes people, when they have inconvenience, they say no, let's just stand still, let's not do anything at all. I think that would be a terrible mistake."

Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, told the business group that the system needed change but acknowledged "the politics of it are very tricky."

"We have to have compromise," Cullerton said. "If you go into negotiations expecting 100 percent of what you want, it's going to be very difficult to proceed down here. …

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