Senate Panel Rejects Rauner Worker’s Comp Proposal

May 27, 2015
In this March 4, 2015 file photo, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at an event in Springfield.

In this March 4, 2015 file photo, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at an event in Springfield.

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

An Illinois Senate committee has rejected one of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's top pro-business priorities.  The Democrat-controlled panel voted along party lines Wednesday to defeat a workers compensation proposal after hearing testimony from businesses and lawyers representing injured workers.

Steve Hoekstra is president of a fourth-generation trucking company not far from the Indiana state line.

“The work comp base rate is 135 percent higher for me being located in Illinois as opposed to Indiana," he said.

But Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Democrat from Chicago, said there are some areas in which Illinois might not want to compete.

“You can’t just look at another state and say that they’re more competitive," he said.  "You also have to look at how they’re treating their employees."

Legislative committees also are considering changes to the civil legal system and a property tax freeze.

The package of bills reflects a scaled-back version of Rauner's "turnaround agenda'' filed earlier this week.

Rauner said Democrats are walking away from needed reforms, while Democrats say the governor’s ideas are wrong for Illinois.

Story source: AP