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BUILDERS ASSOCIATION EXPRESSES DISPLEASURE AT WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACTION

 BUILDERS ASSOCIATION EXPRESSES DISPLEASURE
 AT WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACTION
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- "Pennsylvania's House of Representatives took wrong and irresponsible action on workers' compensation reform legislation and builders and every business, every taxpayer should be outraged by this display of political grandstanding," Frank Corace Thompson, president of the Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA) said today following action by the House of Representatives.
 "It is hard to believe that Pennsylvania's House of Representatives was ever serious about solving the crisis in workers' compensation following their actions today. The bill passed by the house is little more than a ploy designed to allow the House of Representatives to say they have now addresses workers' compensation and place the burden on the Senate to concur with their actions," said Thompson.
 "But I can tell you we are not fooled by the smokescreens and mirrors. This is not meaningful reform and it's obvious to us that the House of Representatives cares very little that the business community continues to face a 52 percent increase in workers' compensation insurance rates. We are mad!" said Thompson.
 The House of Representatives passed a version of workers' compensation reform package known as the Lloyd package today in an overwhelming majority before sending the bill to the Senate for concurrence. The business community had supported a workers' compensation reform package known as the Madigan-Mellow Compromise.
 In action on workers' compensation today, Rep. Joe Gladek (R-Montgomery County) offered a compromise amendment to the Madigan- Mellow package that contained seven concessions demanded by the governor in private meetings with business community leaders.
 "We gave the governor what he wanted. We showed we were willing to further compromise. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives folded to the pressure of organized labor in the face of the upcoming election. It was easier for our elected officials to take the wrong action than to do the responsible and correct thing: reform Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system," Thompson said.
 The business community continues to face an increase in workers' compensation insurance rates averaging 52 percent. More than a year ago, insurance companies that sell workers' compensation coverage requested the rate increase.
 The bill passed by the House today restored double-dipping. Injured workers can again collect benefits from workers' compensation and unemployment compensation at the same time; restored the minimum benefit to continue to allow workers to collect more on workers' compensation than while working; removed language preventing compensation as a result of alcohol or illegal drug use; restored compensation to those who are incarcerated; eliminated the Maryland file and use competitive rating system; and removed the insurance industry-funded fraud bureau.
 Thompson said the builders association continues to support workers' compensation reform, but added that the bill passed by the House is unacceptable.
 "Workers' compensation reform is long overdue. The business community negotiated with the governor in good faith and had hoped that our elected officials would pass the Madigan-Mellow Compromise after we had proposed an amendment package containing several key areas the governor said he wanted to see in any reform measure. We didn't need more time delays or political rhetoric. We wanted reform. We didn't get any."
 /delval/
 -0- 10/8/92
 /CONTACT: Debra S. Tingley, director of communications of PBA, 717-234-6209, or home, 717-921-8697/ CO: Pennsylvania Builder's Association ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: LEG


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Date:Oct 8, 1992
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