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Drumming up support for Workman's Compensation reform

Posted: Tuesday, May 03, 2005

 

  Dave Donnelly, Cheif of Adjudication Alaska Department of Labor, addresses the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance regarding new Workman's Compensation legislation.

Dave Donnelly, Cheif of Adjudication Alaska Department of Labor, addresses the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance regarding new Workman's Compensation legislation.

Former legislator Dave Donnelly who is currently the Chief of Adjudication for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development visited the Peninsula recently to bring Commissioner Greg O'Claray's message of support for Governor Murkowski's proposed legislation to reform workman's compensation law. "The Governor feels very strongly that we need to do something this session because it takes time to put changes into effect that will have a positive effect on rates and we need to get a control on workman's compensation rates to protect jobs for Alaskans," Donnelly told the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance monthly meeting last week.

According to Donnelly if the legislation passes immediate price controls will go into effect that would help prevent increases in rates, "Those are the temporary fixes and immediate solutions, but the legislation also has some long range solutions in it that would formalize a process to study those proposals to come back before the legislature with the results of those studies to do the more aggressive things for long term solutions."

Donnelly added that no one likes price controls especially in a free economy but that they are a measure of last resort, "Frankly our backs are up against the wall here, we have a crisis mode of rising costs of workers compensation insurance, so a temporary price control and a very reasonable one is what is being proposed by the administration."

Donnelly says that while it is a complex issue and legislation there are some excellent summaries available through the Governor's office or by contacting the Department of Labor. He is encouraging the general public to become informed about workmen's compensation legislation and then to make their opinions known to their legislators.



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