FRANKFORT – State Rep. Chris Harris will co-chair a new task force the General Assembly authorized this year to study potential updates to the state’s worker’s compensation system, House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced Thursday.
“Chris’ legal background and his interest in this field make him an ideal choice to lead the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Task Force,” Speaker Stumbo said. “It has been 14 years since the General Assembly last made any substantive changes to this critical area of law that protects both workers and employers, making now an ideal time to undertake this review.”
“I want to thank House Speaker Stumbo for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to working with my fellow task force members in the months ahead,” said Rep. Harris, who served for years as a board member of the Kentucky Association of Counties Workers Compensation Fund. “For a 100 years now, our employees have had this needed protection that ensures they do not suffer financially because of injuries or illnesses they receive on the job. It’s time to see what improvements we can make as worker’s comp in Kentucky enters its second century.”
The task force was created by the passage of House Concurrent Resolution 185, which received near-unanimous support in the House and Senate. It calls for the task force to focus on how the system can better deliver income, medical and vocational benefits to injured workers.
Those serving on the task force include two state representatives – Rep. Adam Koenig of Erlanger is Speaker Stumbo’s second appointment – two state senators; two ex officio members from within the Executive Branch; and representation from a dozen other state organizations and groups, including the Kentucky AFL-CIO, the Kentucky Workers Association; the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; the Kentucky League of Cities; the Kentucky Association of Counties; and the Kentucky Retail Federation. The Legislative Research Commission has final approval of those recommended to serve.
The task force’s report is due by Dec. 1, 2016.