Senate debates second injury fund

Posted February 14, 2013 at 11:42 am


This week the Missouri Senate spent some long hours debating changes to the way a once obscure disability fund within the Workers’ Compensation Program operates. The Second Injury Fund was created as a way to entice employers to hire veterans returning from WWII. Many employers feared if the veterans had existing injuries from the war that were worsened from an accident on the job, they could be held liable for the total extent of the injuries. The Second Injury Fund was created to keep this from happening by paying claims from this pool of money.

The fund operated in relative obscurity until 1992 when it became one of the focal points of a heated primary election in the race for governor. Over the next decade, the fund was sued to pay for claims having nothing to do with military injuries and quickly became depleted to the point of being insolvent. With no money to pay new or existing claims, we are now looking at ways to either restore the fund to solvency or find another way to compensate those who have already been awarded a settlement.

Of local interest to our area, I presented a bill in committee this week specific to Pettis County. When a transient guest tax was passed for the county several years ago, there was a provision that none of the money collected could be used to pay salaries. This bill removes that stipulation so the money can be spent in the most efficient way possible to get the best result for the area. As competition for tourism dollars has increased, it has become more important to hire the best people possible to draw tourists to a destination.

On Wednesday morning I hosted the Representatives from the 28th District in my office to discuss issues of importance to our area. We had a lively discussion regarding the need and importance of reliable high speed internet in rural areas. While there are many great internet providers, it is sometimes difficult to get them to come to sparsely populated areas. We get together almost every Wednesday morning as a way to keep the lines of communication open.

County Commissioners visiting this week were Robert Breshears, Rick Pearson, Robert Sawyer, Leroy Strope, Don Boultinghouse, Jesse Watts, his wife, Joyce Watts, Tom Self, Jim Hansen, Steve Daleske, Jim Marcum, John Meehan and Brent Hampy.

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‘Nothing is Politically Right Which is Morally Wrong’

If you have any questions or comments regarding issues in state government or within the 28th Senatorial District, please feel free to contact my office. Senator Mike Parson, State Capitol Building, Room 420. Phone:573-751-8793 or 800-752-8256. Email: