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Hoefer Law Firm Urges Iowans to Contact Legislators on Workers' Comp Changes

03/01/2017

The Iowa legislature has introduced a bill--HSB 169 and Senate Study Bill 1170-- that will significantly reduce the rights and the amount of compensation for injured Iowans, including those hurt at work. Some of this legislation is proposed to immediately take effect and it could reduce the amount of compensation that our clients receive in their cases.

Please contact your representatives and the members of the subcommittee who are presently considering this bill and urge them to oppose HSB 169. The subcommittee members are:

Gary Carlson
Gary.Carlson@legis.iowa.gov

Peter Cownie
Peter.cownie@legis.iowa.gov

Scott Ourth
Scott.ourth@legis.iowa.gov

You can send a quick & easy email to all members of the committee in the Iowa House that are assigned to this bill here.

This bill is also in the Iowa Senate as Senate Study Bill 1170. You can contact the senate subcommittee members:

Bill Anderson
bill.anderson@legis.iowa.gov

Michael Breitbach
Michael.breitbach@legis.iowa.gov

Nate Boulton
nate.boulton@legis.iowa.gov

You can find your own legislators by clicking here.

A complete copy of the house bill is here.

A complete copy of the senate study bill is here.

The most harmful changes are in 85.34 where they are substantially limiting (and in some cases eliminating) compensation for workers who have sustained a permanent injury on the job. They are also changing the causation standard in such a way that it would essentially eliminate compensation for work injuries that cause an aggravation of an underlying condition.

The general message of your emails should be that you oppose (HSB 169 or SSB 1170 depending on the target of the email) or any attempts to overhaul our workers’ compensation system. 

Some talking points that you can use in your emails:

  • There is no reason to change our workers’ compensation system. It is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country for employers, insurance carriers and injured workers.
  • The cost of workers’ compensation insurance in this state is better than that of most other states. In fact, employers just received a 4.7% decrease in their premiums in January of this year.
  • The people who will be hurt most by the bill are people who have sustained permanent injuries with permanent, adverse consequences including (for some) the complete loss of the ability to work. These are the people who are most in need of the protection our system is designed to provide.
  • Permanent injuries are not going to stop happening just because we will be reducing or eliminating the compensation that is owed for them. There is a cost that comes along with those injuries that is not going to disappear with this legislation. The only thing that this bill would accomplish would be to shift that cost away from the industry that causes them and on to the taxpayers of this state.   

If you have a personal experience with the system---either through an injury of your own or through knowing somebody who has suffered one---I would encourage you to mix that in to your emails as well.  

I hope you will take a few minutes and join us in this fight to protect the rights and compensation for injured Iowans.

Category: News