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Daily Legislative Brief from February 4, 2016

Workers Compensation

HB 613- Relating to Workers’ Compensation System Administration
On Thursday, February 4th, HB 613, relating to Workers’ Compensation System Administration, by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan (R-Eustis) was heard before the House Regulatory Affairs Committee and unanimously passed. AIF’s General Counsel, Tammy Perdue, stood in support of this bill.

The workers’ compensation law requires an employer to obtain coverage for their “employees” that provides for lost income and all medically necessary remedial treatment, attendance, and care resulting from work related injuries and occupational diseases. The Division of Workers’ Compensation within the Department of Financial Services (DFS) provides regulatory oversight of the system. The DFS’ responsibilities include enforcing employer compliance with coverage requirements, administration of the workers’ compensation health care delivery system, collecting system data, and assisting injured workers regarding their benefits and rights.

Today the committee adopted two amendments to the bill. One was technical and the other eliminated language that could have opened a loophole for limited liability company members. With these changes, the bill is now identical to its Senate companion, Senate Bill 986. AIF supports this legislation and salutes Representative Sullivan for her leadership on this measure that enables the Florida Division of Workers' Compensation to maintain the system in its intended self – executing nature.

HB 613 will now head to the House floor for consideration.

AIF supports Florida’s current workers’ compensation law and any proposed change to the workers’ compensation system- in the courtroom or Legislature- will be evaluated through the prism of coverage affordability, market stability, and employee safety.