SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Gov. Bruce Rauner has sided with big insurance companies and against Illinois employers, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan said, criticizing the governor’s veto of legislation offering Illinois businesses the ability to reduce workers’ compensation costs.
“The governor’s actions show his real agenda is not to do what’s in the best interest of Illinois employers, but only to serve the interests of multibillion-dollar insurance companies and further enrich corporate CEOs,” Madigan said. “Instead of helping local employers reduce their workers’ compensation insurance costs, the governor has blocked reform to protect corporate profits. House Democrats will push to override the governor’s veto and provide relief for Illinois employers.”
Madigan and House Democrats passed House Bill 2622, which would provide employers with relief from workers’ compensation costs. While Rauner has consistently identified reduced workers’ compensation costs as a way to turn the state’s business climate around, the governor vetoed the bill last week.
The measure would have created a not-for-profit insurance provider that would be able to sell workers’ compensation insurance to businesses throughout the state. The Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company would offer the same quality insurance as for-profit companies, but would be committed to delivering the best value for businesses, not turning a profit for investors. This competition would also encourage for-profit insurers to offer lower-cost options for Illinois employers. Twenty other states, including Missouri, Kentucky, California and Texas, currently offer employers the option of purchasing workers’ compensation coverage through a state-run, non-profit insurer. Americans for Insurance Reform, a coalition of 100 consumer and public interest groups, studied similar state-administered workers’ compensation insurers currently in place in other states. Their report concluded that these state options operate at a high level of efficiency, resulting in “far lower expenses” and lower overhead costs.
“The governor’s veto rejected competition that would give Illinois employers the same advantages employers have in other states,” Madigan said. “House Democrats continue to try to meet the governor half way by putting forward real reforms that make Illinois a competitive place for business, but the governor continues to show that his only interest is padding the profits of insurance companies, big businesses and corporate CEOs.”
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