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Workers' Comp Overhaul Fails In State Senate

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) -- Both Republicans and Democrats agree that workers compensation reform is one of the biggest issues facing Illinois this legislative session, but a proposal to change the system has failed to pass the state Senate.

The bill would have dissolved the Workers' Compensation Board, and its roughly $130 million budget would go to circuit courts, where all compensation cases would be heard.

As WBBM Newsradio 780's Alex Degman reports, state Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), like many other Democrats who voted "present" on the measure, congratulated the bill's sponsor on his hard work and commitment to the issue.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Alex Degman reports


But the bill was not what Cullerton envisioned for workers' compensation reform.

"The governor's office has put out a version of this legislation. It differs from this legislation. We want to make sure we've got the support of the governor so that we can pass it," Cullerton said.

Cullerton said workers should not be excluded from on-the-job compensation just because of a preexisting condition, as he claims the Republican bill that failed Thursday would have allowed.

He also said sending more cases to circuit courts would overburden that system.

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