Springfield, IL – HB 3390 (Sims/Mulroe) passed out of the General Assembly on Friday on a concurrence motion by the House (118-0-0). Senate Amendments 2 and 3 became the bill. The Senate approved the amendments 58-0-0. The bill makes four changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act and is effective upon signing by the Governor.
- Elimination of handbook requirement
The bill directs the Commission to post its informational handbook on its website and removes the mandate that the Commission send a copy of the handbook to each injured worker who is the subject of an accident report. This change represents an elimination of a $62,500 line item in the Commission’s FY14 budget.
- Elimination of $35 transcript fee paid by employers and employees to appeal cases
The bill eliminates the $35 fee paid by parties who appeal decisions from the Commission to the Circuit Court. Instead, parties who wish to appeal a Commission decision must file with the Commission a notice of the intent to appeal a decision to the Circuit Court. This change applies to all decisions by the Commission entered after the effective date of the bill. It also ends an archaic and time-consuming cost calculation for the preparation of records. Remaining monies in the Transcript Deposit Fund will be transferred to the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund, which is a fund dedicated to providing benefits to employees who have been injured at a workplace without workers’ compensation insurance.
- Requirement for Commission to obtain interpreters when necessary for settlement contracts
The bill requires the Commission to furnish language interpreters for petitioners who do not speak English, do not have an attorney, do not have their own interpreter, and are signing settlement contracts.
- Requirement for Arbitrators to demonstrate workers’ compensation expertise
Finally, the bill provides that all persons appointed to be Arbitrators must demonstrate their knowledge and experience with the Workers’ Compensation Act in writing. It also eliminates erroneous references to the Personnel Code. Pursuant to Public Act 97-719, all Arbitrators are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.
To view the bill, click here: IL HB 3390 (Sims/Mulroe)