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Michigan House passes workers compensation reform bill

Posted On: Nov. 3, 2011 12:00 AM CST

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan House passed a workers compensation reform bill Wednesday that has received praise from business groups in the state.

The Republican-controlled House voted 59-49 in favor of the workers comp law, H.B. 5002. The bill, introduced by state Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford, now goes to the Michigan Senate.

The workers comp bill, if passed, would require injured workers to conduct a "good faith" job search in order to receive disability benefits, and limit benefits for professional athletes who play for teams outside of Michigan, among other changes.

Various firms and trade associations have expressed support for the bill, including the Detroit Lions, the Michigan Manufacturers Assn. and the National Federation of Independent Business.

“This is going to bring predictability and common sense to a system that frustrates small businesses and discourages hiring,” Michigan NFIB Director Charlie Owens said in a statement Wednesday.

Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift criticized the bill's passage in a blog post Thursday, saying the legislation "will create devastating changes to a workers compensation law that has been one of the best in the nation."