Thursday, April 06, 2017

ILL-inois: Taxpayers pay nearly $1 billion in workers' comp costs

Tattered Illinois flag
Yes, there are public-sector workers who are seriously hurt while on the job in Illinois.

But too many people in this state view government not as an agent to provide services to others--it's a way to make a fast buck.

From the Illinois Policy Institute:
A new report by the Illinois Policy Institute finds that workers' compensation costs Illinois taxpayers $982 million each year proving that not only is it a budgetary item, but it is also a major cost driver that should be controlled and managed.

The new report analyzes workers’ compensation costs for state government, school districts, townships, special district governments, municipalities, counties, other special police and fire districts, and publicly funded construction projects.

Illinois taxpayers are forced to shoulder not only the cost of government wages, health insurance, pensions and other benefits, but also to fund workers' compensation costs that surpass those among the other states in the region. According to the recent "2016 Oregon Workers' Compensation Premium Rate Ranking Summary," Illinois' system is the most expensive in the Midwest and ties for seventh-most expensive in the nation.

"Illinois should set the goal of aligning its workers' compensation costs with those of other states in the region, after adjusting for wage differences, so that taxpayers can better afford this regulation on government payrolls," said Michael Lucci, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute. "Businesses are leaving Illinois in the dust when they invest in neighboring states that have lower costs and more pro-growth reforms. We need to adjust the current law – specifically medical reimbursements, drug dispensing rules, wage replacement and indemnity costs – and make Illinois competitive again. Such changes can be done in a way to prioritize the long-term well-being of workers over the short-term profits of special interests through commonsense reforms."
That $982 figure is four percent of payroll, Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business adds. And since Chicago's workers' comp costs were incomplete, that amount is undoubtedly too low.

ILL-nois is one of the few states that is losing population. It's functionally bankrupt.

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