House Speaker Madigan appointed a House of Representatives Special Committee on Workers’ Compensation Reform, and the Committee conducted its first of three scheduled hearings on Friday, December 3rd at the Bilandic Building in Chicago. In a format very similar to that of the Senate Committee, the House Special Committee heard from Chairman Mitch Weisz about the history of Illinois Workers’ Compensation and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, then heard testimony from business representatives of all sizes regarding the impact the current laws in Illinois are having on their companies. Organized labor, represented again by the President of ITLA, the President of the Illinois AFL/CIO, and two attorneys from the petitioner’s bar, presented testimony in rebuttal to the requested reforms put forth by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Employment Law Council’s Workers’ Compensation Committee.
The hearing concluded with perhaps the best presentation of the day by Dr. Preston Wolin, who explained to the Committee the ramifications of repealing the current Medical Fee Schedule and provided recommendations for the proper use of utilization review, which he currently believes is an inefficient and added cost to the current system.
Two additional hearings have been scheduled by the House Special Committee on Workers’ Compensation for December 15, 2010 and December 16, 2010 in Bloomington and in Mt. Vernon, the exact times and locations yet to be announced. The second Senate committee hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, December 8 at the Bilandic Building (160 N. LaSalle, 4th Floor) in Chicago.
There is still time to be involved, so please do not delay if you are interested in speaking up and having your voice heard. We will continue to monitor these proceedings and inform you as to the status of the pending legislation, which can be reviewed here.