Once again, the Montana Legislature has found an interesting way of defining a “Jobs Bill”. The Chicken Little’s who decided that Workers’ Comp was completely broken (it’s not, although it’s not perfect, either) include Senator Edward Walker. I don’t think Ed is an idiot, but his bill is about as far from the core of what the GOP says they’re about as you can find. (Why I’m surprised by this is beyond me, but I have this faith that most of humanity doesn’t lie about everything they really think. *cough*)
Looking over what this bill does causes those of us who have to pay Workers’ Comp Insurance a mild heart-attack. Know why? Because if you notice from the Fiscal Note, the costs incurred by this change don’t fall on the state. In fact, they don’t fall on State Fund. The costs for these inefficient, ineffective and unnecessary administrative changes are put right on the businesses that purchase Workers’ Comp Insurance. In my case, that’s me. I have my own company, and I’m responsible for my own insurance rates and payments, and this bill would directly impact my ability to continue as a viable business, let alone any chance in hell I’d have of being able to actually hire an employee.
Republicans are famous for bitching that raising taxes on business is a job killer. Well, guess what Senator Walker, SB375 a tax increase on my business, on your community’s businesses and on every business in the state. SB375 is a job killer, and does nothing to fix Workers’ Comp in any substantive way.
Don’t believe me? Name one time where filling out an additional form, and having an additional meeting covering topics you’ve already discussed, actually helped. Right. It doesn’t. It’s costly busywork, not a fix.
Every business has to have Workers’ Comp Insurance, and while it’s pricey, it’s currently affordable only because the Montana State Fund does so many good things to keep the prices down (as much as possible) for those of us in the great state of Montana. So while I would like to see Workers’ Comp fixed as well, this isn’t the way. Senator Walker, I ask that you abandon this bill, for the simple reason that it doesn’t do what you want while it actually causes harm to many in our state.