Sen Barickman: Democrats vote down workers reform compromise

SPRINGFIELD – According to State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Democrats voted to turn their backs on the prospect of putting more Illinoisans back to work. This is after Democrat members of the Senate Judiciary Committee took a party line vote to kill negotiated reforms for workers compensation.

“Simply put, this bill would have helped put more residents back to work,” said Sen. Barickman, who co-sponsored the two bills. “Voting against this measure is a vote to protect the failed status quo that has continued to push jobs out of Illinois.”

Senate Bill 994 would reduce workers’ compensation rates for businesses, through a combination of several changes, including a 50% causation standard and the use of American Medical Association standards for disability awards. Illinois rates are currently the seventh-highest in the nation, and are often cited as a reason companies locate in other states.

The legislation is part of a package of five reform bills proposed by Governor Rauner after weeks of meetings between leaders from both parties.

“These are real, common-sense reforms that could immediately create jobs and grow businesses in Illinois,” said Sen. Barickman. “Unfortunately, Democrat leadership has decided to turn their backs on repairing our broken state, and chosen to protect the failed status quo.”

Senator Barickman noted that action on this bill fits a larger pattern by Democrat leadership in the closing days of the legislative session.

“They’ve absolutely rejected any compromise on the budget and reforms that would turn our state around,” said Sen. Barickman. “Residents made it clear in November that we need change, but unfortunately Democrat leaders have ignored the call from their constituents. I truly hope they will see the light at the end of the tunnel and return to the negotiating table so we can take real action to make Illinois great again.”

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