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January 13, 2004

Council offers members free briefings on workers' comp reform package

To build support for its comprehensive workers’ compensation reform package, The Business Council is offering to brief its members as well as local and regional associations of businesses and manufacturers on the proposal.

This must be the year that comprehensive workers’ compensation reform is passed, said Kerry Kirwan, The Business Council’s legislative analyst specializing in workers’ compensation.

"The Governor opened the door by calling for reform in his State of the State address," Kirwan said. "But the business community needs to be the driving force behind reform."

The drive for real workers' comp reform comes as the state AFL-CIO is intensifying pressure for major benefit increases and indexing of benefits to the statewide average wage, Kirwan added.

To gather support for reform, The Business Council is offering a free half-hour presentation on workers’ compensation to any Council member. The presentation includes an explanation of The Business Council’s reform package as well as a discussion on the need for reform of the current workers' compensation system.

Council staffers have already presented the package to several organizations around the state, including regional chamber groups.

“The presentations have been very successful,” said Kirwan. “But we would like to present this package to more of our members so they can understand the state of workers’ compensation today and how it can and must be changed.”

“It’s important that businesses understand what these reforms will mean to them,” Kirwan said.

Any member of The Business Council is eligible for the free presentation.