Sunday, March 25, 2007

Disabled Workers Lose House Vote

The State Chamber of Commerce bill to abolish the Workers Compensation Second Injury Trust Fund sailed through the Arkansas House on Friday by a vote of 71-21. House Bill 2674 by Rep. Keven Anderson (R-Rogers) is a cruel slap at disabled workers who might be injured on the job. One of the main reasons for creation of the Second Injury Trust Fund was to encourage hiring people with disabilities, but the Workers' Compensation Commission has failed to fund it for 8 of the last 16 years. Rep. Anderson and the State Chamber would rather abolish the program and leave disabled workers without a safety net than to provide reasonable insurance premiums to support coverage for injured workers.

Voting against protecting disabled workers were local Representatives Marilyn Edwards (D-Fayetteville), Keven Anderson (R-Rogers), Mark Martin (R-Prairie Grove), Jon Woods (R-Springdale), Mike Kenney (R-Siloam Springs), Daryl Pace (R-Siloam Springs), Eric Harris (R-Lowell), Donna Hutchinson (R-Bella Vista), Horace Hardwick (R-Bentonville), Aaron Burkes (R-Garfield), Bryan King (R-Berryville), and Roy Ragland (R-Marshall).

Voting to protect the fund for injured workers were Jim House (D-Fayetteville) and Lindsley Smith (D-Fayetteville). AFSCME Local 965 thanks Representatives House and Smith for voting against this anti-worker legislation.

No comments: