Friday, September 25, 2020

Published:01/17/2020

MSIA Legislative Report

January 17, 2020

The legislature got off to a quick start as the House and Senate had hearings on several of their priorities. The Senate heard and passed out SB 575 dealing with asbestos exposure and asbestos trusts. The House General Laws Committee heard an eminent domain bill to address the Grain Belt transmission lines going across northwest Missouri and a bill trying to address the growing drug problem. Its expected we will quickly see hearings and action on bills seeking to amendment the recently passed Clean Missouri lobbying and redistricting provisions.

Governor Mike Parson made his State of the State Address on Wednesday. He continued to stress workforce development and transportation funding as priorities. Following the Governor's address, he released his budget recommendations which will receive much discussion over the coming months. At this point there is still no agreement between the House, Senate and Governor on a consensus revenue estimate.

Next week is a short week in Jefferson City due to the observance of Martin Luther King Day on Monday. The House and Senate won't go into session until Tuesday afternoon. Hearings will be scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Bills continue to be filed daily and we have updated the attached Bill Summary & Status Report.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Missouri Self-Insurers Association

Bill Summary & Status Report

HB1263 - Modifies provisions relating to workers' compensation

Sponsor

Rep. Gretchen  Bangert (D)

Summary

This bill defines the term "emergency worker" to include any air ambulance pilot, air ambulance registered professional nurse, emergency medical technician, firefighter, or law enforcement officer. The bill establishes a presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosed in an emergency worker, during his or her service or within three years of the date of last active service, is an occupational disease compensable under Section 287.067, RSMo. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that non-serviceconnected risk factors or exposure caused the post-traumatic stress disorder.This bill is the same as HB 48 (2019).

HB1542 - Modifies provisions relating to workers' compensation law

Sponsor

Rep. Rudy  Veit (R)

Summary

The Division of Workers' Compensation within the Department of Labor may give priority to and pay from the Second Injury Fund, all death benefits related to claims before January 1, 2014 and ongoing medical expenses occurring before January 1, 2014. If a group of employers who have been granted self-insurance authority under Chapter 537, RSMO or a public sector individual employer granted self-insurance authority under Chapter 537, files for bankruptcy, and fails to pay any of its obligations that are owed to an injured employee or an injured employee's dependent or dependents, the division shall call upon the entire security posted by the group of employers or public sector individual employer. The division may refer all known losses or cases of the group of employers or public sector individual employer to a third-party administrator or any such entity authorized in this state to administer the Workers' Compensation cases. Any unused portion of the security proceeds must be returned to the division.

HB1851 - Modifies provisions relating to certificates of self-insurance

Sponsor

Rep. Dean  Dohrman (R)

Summary

This bill allows any religious denomination that discourage its members from purchasing insurance as being contrary to its religious tenets, but has more than 25 members with motor vehicles, to qualify as a self-insurer by obtaining a selfinsurance certificate issued by the Director of the Department of Revenue. Currently, a religious denomination can only qualify if it prohibits its members from purchasing insurance of any form.

HB1965 - Creates new provisions relating to occupational diseases diagnosed in first respondersCreates new provisions relating to occupational diseases diagnosed in first responders

Sponsor

Rep. Nick  Schroer (R)

Summary

This bill provides that if, preceding the date of injury or death, an employee who is on active duty as a first responder is diagnosed with a mental impairment and such person was not previously diagnosed such an impairment, the impairment shall presumptively be considered an occupational disease and shall be presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment. This presumption may be rebutted by the employer or insurer. One or more compensable mental impairment claim arising out of a single accident shall constitute a single injury. Furthermore, a mental impairment shall not be considered an occupational disease if it results from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar action taken in good faith by the employer. This bill is similar to SB 281 (2019).

SB545 - Relating to occupational diseases under workers' compensation laws

Sponsor

Sen. Scott  Sifton (D)

Summary

SB 545 - Under this act, the death, disability, or impairment of health of any person who is a firefighter, police officer, emergency medical technician, or other first responder of any political subdivision shall be considered an occupational disease if the following conditions are met:•           The person must have completed five or more years of employment as a firefighter, police officer, emergency medical technician, or other first responder;•        The death, disability, or impairment of health must have been caused by a disease of the lungs or respiratory tract, hypertension, cardiovascular-renal disease, or post-traumatic stress disorder;•             The death, disability, or impairment of health must be the result of employment as a firefighter, police officer, emergency medical technician, or other first responder; and• The person must have taken a physical examination upon becoming employed that failed to reveal any evidence of any condition or impairment of health.Clear and convincing medical evidence that the cause of the condition or impairment of health of the person is unrelated to their employment is required in order to deny a workers' compensation claim under this act.This act is identical to SB 212 (2019) and SB 481 (2017).SCOTT SVAGERA

SB607 - Prohibits the use of an employee or prospective employee's credit score as a condition of employment

Sponsor

Sen. Karla  May (D)

Summary

SB 607 - This act prohibits employers from requiring an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about the person's credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances, or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment unless the report is otherwise required by law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any employer to conduct a soft credit inquiry on any employee or prospective employee.An employee or prospective employee may file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations alleging any violation of this act. This act does not apply to any employer that is engaged in the practice of public accounting or that is a financial institution with respect to any employee or prospective employee whose primary employment duties are related to handling the financial assets of such employer.This act is substantially similar to SCS/SB 209 (2019) and substantially similar to HB 1801 (2016) and similar to HCS/HB 105 (2015), HCS#2/HB 1153 (2014), HB 164 (2013), HCS/HB 1240 (2012), HB 37 (2011), and HB 461 (2011).

SB672 - Modifies provisions relating to workers' compensation premiums

Sponsor

Sen. Justin  Brown (R)

Summary

SB 672 - This act stipulates that no workers' compensation insurance policy shall be approved by the Department of Commerce and Insurance if, when determining the premium to be paid by an employer, the insurer includes as part of the employer's payroll the following:• Monetary bonuses, paid by such employer to an employee, of up to three percent of the employee's yearly compensation from such employer; or• Contributions made by the employer to an employee's individual retirement account.This act is substantially similar to SB 71 (2019) and SB 735 (2018).

SB693 - Creates new provisions relating to workers' compensation proceedings

Sponsor

Sen. Wayne  Wallingford (R)

Summary

SB 693 - This act modifies various provisions relating to workers' compensation.SECOND INJURY FUND LIABILITIES(Section 287.220)This act modifies the applicability of the priority schedule for payment of liabilities of the Second Injury Fund (SIF). Specifically, the act allows for the payment from the SIF of the following SIF liabilities prior to any liability set forth in the priority schedule:• All death benefits incurred relating to claims for deaths occurring prior to January 1, 2014, consistent with a temporary or final award; and• Ongoing medical expenses, but not past medical expenses, relating to claims for injuries occurring prior to January 1, 2014, consistent with a temporary or final award which includes future medical benefits.These provisions are identical to SB 156 (2019) and substantially similar to SCS/SB 1089 (2018) and HB 261 (2019).THIRD-PARTY ADMINISTRATORS(Section 287.280)This act additionally permits the Division of Workers' Compensation to call the security of a group self-insured employer or public sector individual employer if they are deemed insolvent, are determined to be insolvent, file for bankruptcy, or fail to pay any obligations owed under the workers' compensation laws. Furthermore, the Division is permitted to retain a third-party administrator for the purpose of paying any compensation benefits owed to an injured employee.These provisions are identical to SB 156 (2019) and substantially similar to SCS/SB 1089 (2018) and HB 261 (2019).ELECTRONIC FILINGS WITH LIRC(Section 287.480)The act furthermore allows the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission to permit the filing of applications for review, briefs, motions, and other requests for relief with the Commission by electronic means, in such manner as it may, by rule, prescribe.

SB710 - Creates new provisions relating to occupational diseases diagnosed in first responders

Sponsor

Sen. Bill  Eigel (R)

Summary

SB 710 - This act provides that if, preceding the date of injury or death, an employee who is on active duty as a first responder is diagnosed with a mental impairment and such person was not previously diagnosed such an impairment, then the impairment shall presumptively be considered an occupational disease and shall be presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment. This presumption may be rebutted by the employer or insurer.One or more compensable mental impairment claims arising out of a single accident shall constitute a single injury. Furthermore, a mental impairment shall not be considered an occupational disease if it results from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar action taken in good faith by the employer.This act is substantially similar to SB 281 (2019).

SB767 - Modifies provisions on permanent total disability benefit

Sponsor

Sen. Eric  Burlison (R)

Summary

SB 767 - Under current law, if an employee dies prior to being paid permanent total disability workers' compensation benefits due as a result of certain occupational diseases due to toxic exposure, any additional benefits shall be payable to the employee's spouse or children, natural or adopted. This act modifies that provision such that to receive payment under this provision a child must also be a dependent. The act additionally repeals a requirement that payment be made to the estate of an employee in the event that he or she does not have a spouse or dependent children.This act is identical to SB 316 (2019) and HB 123 (2019).

SB769 - Modifies provisions relating to multiple employer self-insured health plans

Sponsor

Sen. Eric  Burlison (R)

Summary

SB 769 - This act modifies provisions relating to multiple employer self-insured health plans.This act repeals a provision specifying that no multiple employer self-insured health plan may hold a certificate of authority to transact business in the state unless it had at least 250 covered employees in the preceding calendar quarter. (Section 376.1005.1)The act also repeals a provision requiring a plan's surplus account to be a minimum of $600,000, regardless of monthly premiums collected. (Section 376.1017.2(3))Under the act, multiple employer self-insured health plans licensed in the state are exempted from certain provisions of law related to taxation of insurance companies. (Section 376.1037)Lastly, the act provides that sole proprietors, or employers with only one employee, shall be eligible to participate in a multiple employer self-insured health plan. (Section 376.1038)This act is identical to HB 562 (2019).