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Workers’ Comp Reforms Pass House Committee

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) — Illinois business groups are pleased with workers’ compensation reforms passed in a state House committee Sunday evening.

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports as the General Assembly session steams to a close, a committee has approved reforms to a system that employers say eats up $2 billion a year.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports

After Greg Baise of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association praised the package, he received the following question from state Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago): “So does this change your mind to position yourself on the state income tax?”

“I don’t see the relevance of that,” Baise said.

“Well, everything’s connected there,” Lyons said. “If you don’t see it, I think most people see it.”

Baise would not answer Lyons directly.

Supporters of the workers’ compensation reform proposal say it would reduce medical fee expenses by 15 percent, the Chicago Tribune reported. The bill would also cap benefits at age 67, or five years after the injury, whichever is later.

Further, an injured worker would be required first to see a doctor chosen by his or her employer, rather than “shopping” for opinions about an injury, the Tribune reported.

A proposal for a 75 percent hike in the state income tax is also on the table.

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