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South Carolina lawmakers approve comp reform bill


COLUMBIA, S.C.--South Carolina lawmakers Wednesday gave their final approval to a compromise workers compensation reform package, which observers say Gov. Mark Sanford is expected to sign.

The legislation--approved by the Senate Tuesday and the House on Wednesday--would phase out South Carolina's second injury fund, which pays to treat aggravated injuries that occurred at an employee's previous employer. It also would eliminate a legal presumption of total and permanent disability when a worker suffers the loss of at least 50% of the use of their back.

The legislation sets fines for employers and insurers that lie or commit fraud.

A spokesman for the American Insurance Assn. said he expects Gov. Sanford to sign the legislation into law.