Small business owners could see a system that’s more business-friendly in 2016.
Legislators returned to Madison on January 12th to kick-off the second year of the 2015-16 Session with a two-week floor period and a busy calendar of issues of interest to small business, including worker compensation reform. The final general business floor period of the session is scheduled for April.
Senate Bill 536, introduced by Senator Steve Nass (Whitewater) and Representative John Spiros (Marshfield) would make several significant changes including a stepped-up investigation process for false or fraudulent claims related to worker’s compensation benefits.
Senate Bill 536 is scheduled for Executive Action by the Senate Labor Committee and is expected to be considered by the full Senate during the next floor period.
In addition, the Legislature transferred most workers compensation appeal claims to the Division of Hearings and Appeals in the Department of Administration. Under the new provision, 18 administrative law judges are required to be transferred. Also, a new requirement holds that they must allocate 80 percent of their time to workers compensation issues.
“The purpose of the transfer is to make the hearing process more efficient and to improve the expertise of the administrative law judges,” said NFIB/Wisconsin State Director Bill G. Smith.