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Illinois governor vetoes state-funded comp insurance plan

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has reportedly vetoed a bill that would have established a state-sponsored fund to provide workers compensation insurance in Illinois.

The bill, H.B. 2622, would have allowed the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission operations to loan up to $10 million to help create Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Co., a domestic mutual insurance company. The governor’s office could not be reached for comment. 

"We’re pleased the governor decided to veto this bill,” Steve Schneider, vice president for state affairs, Midwest region, American Insurance Association, said in a statement. “Given Illinois' record of financial mismanagement, the last thing its politicians should be entrusted with is paying for the medical bills of injured workers across the state. Illinois has an abundance of insurance companies — more than any other state — competing in the workers’ compensation business, so putting Illinois taxpayers on the hook for yet another obligation would have been a terrible mistake.”

State Senator Daniel Biss, who sponsored the bill to create the state-sponsored workers comp insurer, issued a statement denouncing the veto. 

"For two years, we've heard Gov. Rauner beat a drum about how important it is to reform workers compensation,” he said in the statement. “When given that opportunity, he maintains the status quo — choosing instead to protect the insurance industry and punish injured workers who will continue to bear the brunt of a broken system."