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Missouri House rejects fix for Second Injury Fund

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Legislation that would have provided a financial boost to Missouri's Second Injury Fund was rejected late Monday by the State House.

The fund provides payments to workers who are hurt on the job a second time, after having returned to work from an earlier injury.

The bill would have allowed the state to borrow money from worker's compensation funds to keep the Second Injury Fund afloat, and not have to pay it back by the end of the year.

Democrat Sam Komo of Jefferson County voted against the measure. He questioned whether the move would harm the state's ability to pay workers compensation claims:

"I'm concerned about the burden it's going to shift over to the businesses," Komo said." "Who's going to pay for it? Are we, or the businesses? I've got a lot of questions on this, so I guess until we kind of move forward and see where this budget process is, I have a problem voting for this bill."

The bill's sponsor says doing nothing will not make the Second Injury Fund's problems go away.

Republican Barney Fisher of Vernon County warned that courts may order the state to replenish the fund, which could trigger more budget cuts in other areas of government.

Two separate audits conducted in 2007 found that the fund was going insolvent.