The Missouri House has passed its version of a workers’ compensation bill that also proposes to fix the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund. The vote again fell mostly along party lines.
Democrats, including Kevin McManus of Kansas City, continued to object to provisions that would move all occupational disease claims from the courts to the workers’ compensation system.
“While it does offer some compensation, that compensation is severely limited in term of death benefits…it really amounts to almost a burial fee in order to cover the cost of the coffin,” McManus said.
The bill’s backers say it would provide much-needed financial relief to small businesses and make the state more business-friendly. They also say tightening eligibility for 2nd Injury Fund claims and shifting some of those cases to workers’ comp will help the fund recover.
The bill now goes to the State Senate.