Missouri House OKs changes to injured worker fund

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | 5:03 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House has given initial approval to a plan to help a financially troubled fund for injured workers.

The Second Injury Fund takes employers off the hook for claims from workers with previous injuries or conditions who are hurt on the job.  Analysts have warned for years that the fund was running out of money.

Legislation approved by voice vote in the House on Tuesday would make it easier for labor officials to borrow from the state Worker's Compensation Fund to bolster the Second Injury Fund's balance. In February, 9,028 Worker's Compensation injuries were filed, including second injuries, according to the Missouri Department of Labor.

The measure is also designed to block judges from ordering the legislature to put more money into the Second Injury Fund.

House members rejected an amendment that would have allowed money to be drawn from funds outside the state Worker's Compensation Fund. 

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