Illinois Representative Proposes Amendment to Abolish Workers Compensation System

After proposals to change the Illinois workers compensation system at the expense of the rights of injured workers stalled during the recent January veto session, at least one Illinois lawmaker is considering the nuclear option: completely abolish the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. State Representative John Bradley, D-Marion, has filed an amendment to House Bill 1032 that essentially seeks to dismantle the Illinois workers compensation system and send workers compensation cases back to the circuit court, a move that would erase nearly one hundred years of progress for workers rights in Illinois. If this proposed amendment passes, the stability of the no-fault, limited liability system currently enjoyed by injured workers and their employers alike will be replaced by the uncertainty of an already overburdened court system, which will force workers to fight long and costly legal battles to try and obtain compensation for their injuries and lost wages. This proposed amendment comes amid Illinois Governor Pat Quinns renewed calls for legislative action on his proposal for Workers Compensation reform by April 15, 2011.

As was the case during Governor Quinns efforts to reform the workers compensation system earlier this year, no doubt, Republican legislators will pitch inroads on workers compensation as creating a better business environment in Illinois. But havent the taxpayers already done that by paying billions of dollars to those financial institutions that were on the verge of collapse not too long ago? Why are taxpayers and working people continually asked to pony up? Why shouldn’t businesses contribute to the general welfare by agreeing to strengthen workers compensation? While companies like General Electric, one of the largest corporations in America, paid no taxes last year on tens of billions of dollars in profit, and even reportedly received a multi-billion dollar refund despite paying no taxes, laborers and workers continue to face an onslaught of proposed cuts to essential programs like workers compensation, such as Governor Quinns proposal to reduce employer payments to injured workers by as much as thirty percent.

With this tentative deadline approaching, it is important that you make sure your state senators and representatives know how you feel about these proposed changes that will undoubtedly make it more costly and difficult for injured workers to obtain the compensation they deserve when they are injured on the job. Please click on the names of your respective Illinois legislators below to email them your thoughts. To learn more about Governor Quinns work comp reform proposals, take a look at our Illinois Workers Compensation Act Bullet Points and our article discussing some of the problems with the proposed reforms. Check back with our Illinois Workers Compensation blog to stay updated on these proposed changes to the workers compensation system in Illinois.

Illinois Legislators

  • Gov. Pat Quinn (D) Phone: 217-782-0244
  • Sen. Dick Durbin (D) Fax: 202-228-0400
  • Sen. Mark Kirk (R) Fax: 202-228-4611
  • Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1) Fax: 202-226-0333
  • Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-2) Fax: 202-225-0899
  • Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-3) Fax: 202-225-1012
  • Rep. Luis Gutirrez (D-4) Fax: 202-225-7810
  • Rep. Mike Quigley (D-5) Fax: 202-225-5603
  • Rep. Peter Roskam (R-6) Fax: 202-225-1166
  • Rep. Danny Davis (D-7) Fax: 202-225-5641
  • Rep. Joe Walsh (R-8) Fax: 202-225-7830
  • Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-9) Fax: 202-226-6890
  • Rep. Robert Dold (R-10) Fax: 202-225-0837
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-11) Fax: 202-225-3521
  • Rep. Jerry Costello (D-12) Fax: 202-225-0285
  • Rep. Judy Biggert (R-13) Fax: 202-225-9420
  • Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-14) Fax: 202-225-0697
  • Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-15) Fax: 202-226-0791
  • Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-16) Fax: 202-225-5284
  • Rep. Robert Schilling (R-17) Fax: 202-225-5396
  • Rep. Aaron Schock (R-18) Fax: 202-225-9249
  • Rep. John Shimkus (R-19) Fax: 202-225-5880