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Hawaii lawmakers fail to override comp vetoes


HONOLULU--The Hawaii Legislature failed to override vetoes by Gov. Linda Lingle of two workers compensation bills that would have guaranteed uninterrupted medical treatment for injured workers and restricted the rulemaking authority of Hawaii's director of labor and industrial relations.

Both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate this week failed to muster the required two-thirds affirmative vote to override the governor's vetoes.

Among other things, Senate Bill 1060 would have limited an employer's power to terminate benefits and authorized the recovery of attorney's fees and costs by the injured worker.

House Bill 855 would have required uninterrupted medical care for injured employees even if the worker's employer denied further treatment. A decision by the state's director of labor and industrial relations would have been required to settle the dispute.

H.B. 855 also would have required the director of labor and industrial relations to submit all rule changes to the Legislature for approval.