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Workers' Comp. Bill Passes House
Vote expected today in Senate


May 23, 2005

Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski Sunday applauded the Alaska State House of Representatives for passing meaningful workers' compensation reform. "This is the most comprehensive workers' compensation reform bill passed since statehood," said the governor. The House passed the free conference committee substitute for Senate Bill 130 on a 25 to 13 vote.

"Alaska's workers' compensation rates are second-highest in the nation - and our small businesses needed us to deliver a bill this year," said the governor. "I want to thank the Senate and the House for working together through a long and sometimes difficult process to develop a workers' compensation bill that will provide relief for businesses and protection for injured workers."

According to the governor, the final bill addresses rising costs within the workers' compensation system, makes structural improvements to the system, reduces costs through better enforcement, improves the reemployment benefits system and increases efficiency and predictability in workers' compensation claims and appeals.

The Senate first passed SB 130 on April 14. The House passed a differing version of the bill on May 8. The Senate did not concur with the House's version before the end of the regular session, and the governor added the bill to a special session call announced on May 9. The House failed to adopt the first conference committee report on a 20-20 vote on May 17, setting up a second conference committee. The House adopted this conference committee report on May 22.

Of the bills the governor included in a special session proclamation, House Bill 130 - university lands legislation, HB 147 - insurance regulation and HB 94 - elections reform have passed both bodies. Final action on SB 130 is expected in the Senate today - Monday.

"I am pleased with the work this Legislature has done this special session," said Murkowski. "I look forward to their final actions on the operating and capital budgets and on PERS/TRS reform. At the end of this process, Alaskans will be proud of the work they accomplished. This is true democracy at work -- sometimes laborious, sometimes controversial, but productive for the people of Alaska."


Source of News:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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