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The House went further than the senate today when it approved tougher restrictions on the ability of injured workers to get compensation. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
Business interests and worker's unions had worked out a compromise in the Senate on legislation making it harder for injured workers to get compensation.
But the House threw out that compromise and approved its own version of the bill on a near party line vote.
Joplin Republican Steve Hunter handled the bill in the House.
Hunter says his bill is stronger because it will ensure that insurance premiums will go down for businesses.
He says he asked the National Council on Compensation Insurance to compare the Senate version and the House version of the bill.
Hunter says the House bill will lower premiums because it allows employees and employers to negotiate directly'And if they quickly agree on a settlement, the attorneys won't receive any payment.
The current system gives injured workers the benefit of the doubt when they seek compensation.
In exchange, businesses are shielded from lawsuits from injured workers.
While many lawmakers on both sides of the issue agree this system has become too costly to maintain, Democratic Representative say they're not pleased with the Republicans' proposed solution.
Representative Terry Young criticized the bill during debate.
And Democratic Representative Rick Johnson says the bill takes away the rights of workers.
He says this bill doesn't show any compassion for workers.
These comments angered some Republican lawmakers.
Representative Brian Yates says by opposing this bill, Democrats are sending a bad message to businesses.
But Democratic Representative Sara Lampe of Springfield says the bill will actually increase the cost of doing business in Missouri.
She says making it harder for injured workers to receive compensation will put a burden on businesses.
Now that the House and Senate have each passed their own versions of the worker's compensation bill, Representatives and Senators will meet in conference committee to work out the differences between the two chambers.
For the bill to go to the governor's desk, each chamber will have to approve the same version of the bill.