Workers’ Compensation Reform Act Passes House

Thursday, April 11, 2013
The Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 2013, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brooks (R–Cleveland), passed the Tennessee House of Representatives on Thursday with bipartisan support from state lawmakers.
The bill, which is part of Governor Bill Haslam’s legislative agenda for the year, was given to Rep. Brooks to shepherd through the House committee and floor process by House Leader Gerald McCormick (R–Chattanooga).
Workers’ Compensation is an insurance program, adopted in Tennessee in 1919, that compensates employees for injuries they suffer on the job.
Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of medical expenses and loss wages of employees when they suffer work-related injuries.
As passed, the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act (House Bill 194) "reforms the workers’ compensation system in Tennessee to provide more certainty for businesses while also protecting interests of employees across the state," Rep. Brooks said.
He stated, “This bill is a well-thought out piece of legislation that meets our overall goal of ensuring the most efficient and fair workers’ compensation system for both employers and employees. Overall, we believe our new system can be a model of excellence that will help our state become and even more attractive place to work and do business.”
Once signed by Governor Haslam, HB 194 will reduce the time it takes to receive permanent workers’ compensation benefits and improve injury medical treatment. In addition, the process for resolving workers’ comp disputes will be streamlined, allowing injured workers to receive compensation and return to work quicker, he said.
“I would like to thank Governor Haslam and Leader McCormick for allowing me to carry this important legislation,” continued Rep. Brooks. “As well, special thanks to Abbie Hudgens, Warren Wells, and the rest of the Haslam team for their excellent work on this much-needed reform bill.”
Kevin Brooks is a member of the House Finance, Ways & Means and House Education Committees.

Hixson Dentist Awarded Tennessee Dental Association Fellowship

Dr. Michael R. Johnson, a Hixson dentist, received the prestigious Tennessee Dental Association (TDA) Fellowship Award during the recent Music City Dental Conference held in Nashville, the 149th annual meeting of the TDA. The Fellowship Award is presented to no more than twelve deserving Tennessee dentists each year who make noteworthy contributions of their time and talent toward ... (click for more)

James Appointed Chief Medical Officer Of BlueCare Tennessee

Dr. Jeanne James has been named vice president and chief medical officer of BlueCare Tennessee, the Medicaid managed care subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Dr. James will oversee and guide medical policy for BlueCare Tennessee, and provide clinical direction on programs to improve health for members. “We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. James’ expertise ... (click for more)

CBL & Associates Stockholder Accuses Chattanooga-Based Mall Owner Of Security Fraud

A stockholder of CBL & Associates is suing the Chattanooga-based mall owner in Chattanooga Federal Court, claiming its officials artificially inflated the value of the company's stock. Tommy French, of Baton Rouge, La., brought the action against CBL, President Stephen Lebovitz and Vice President Farzana Mitchell. He claims that CBL officials made false and misleading ... (click for more)

Carmody Found Guilty Of First-Degree Felony Murder; Sentenced To Life In Prison

Patrick Carmody was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of first-degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery in Judge Barry Steelman’s courtroom on Friday. He was charged with the slaying of 21-year-old Chance LeCroy on Sept. 9, 2010. The state’s account of the incident claimed that Carmody, Ronald Pittman, and Billy Bob Partin traveled ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Best Speech This Year

Just 24 hours after Donovan Livingston gave The Student’s Speech at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education convocation on Wednesday, it had been viewed over 3 million times and shared 75,000 times on Facebook. It is already considered, far and away, as the freshest view on race and education in ages and its viral journey is burning across the Internet. His talk was ... (click for more)