Haslam Signs Workers Compensation Reform Bill

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Governor Bill Haslam Tuesday held a ceremonial bill signing at Clarksville Foundry, Inc. for his workers’ compensation reform legislation, HB 194/SB 200, approved by the General Assembly.

Workers’ compensation premium rates for employers in Tennessee are higher than the national average and higher than all of Tennessee’s bordering states, and the state is one of only two that adjudicated workers’ compensation claims in the trial courts, often delaying benefits to employees and producing inconsistent results, officials said.

The governor’s bill simplifies the system while allowing employees to receive benefits faster and return to work sooner, bringing increased predictability to the business environment. 

“As I traveled the state during my first two years in office, I heard consistently from Tennesseans that reforming workers’ compensation would be a significant step toward improving our business climate and growing jobs,” Governor Haslam said. “Our legislation brings clarity and fairness to the system and builds on our ongoing efforts to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

The legislation:

Provides disability benefits to an injured worker quicker;
Improves the quality of medical treatment;
Provides a clearer standard for causation and a neutral application of the law;
Allows employees to file claims in a court within the Division of Workers’ Compensation rather than trial court;

And creates a new ombudsman program in the division to help unrepresented employees and employers receive the assistance they need. 

The bill was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland).


Todd Gaither Receives Certified Long-Term Care Designation

Todd Gaither, a financial advisor with Tandem Financial Partners, of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., has been awarded a professional designation in the field of long-term care, Certified in Long-Term Care. The program is independent of the insurance industry and is designed to provide financial service professionals with expertise and tools to address long-term care planning ... (click for more)

USDA RD Grant Assists With Two Utility Projects In Rhea County

USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode announced Friday two Water and Environmental Program projects in Rhea County. Rural Development funds will be used to purchase a new Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System and a de-gassing tower. “The purchase of the new equipment will enable the utility districts in Rhea County to better serve their customers,” Dir. ... (click for more)

Maryville Police Department's Kenny Moats Was The Officer Slain Thursday

Officer Kenny Moats of the Maryville Police Department was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call on Thursday.  Officer Moats was with the department for over nine years and was currently serving as a drug enforcement agent. Assistant Commissioner David Purkey said, "It is with heavy heart that I express my condolences to the family and friends of ... (click for more)

Auto Burglary Thwarted In Bradley County

A man has been arrested in Bradley County, after attempting to steal a vehicle. On Thursday, Deputy Jessica Morgan observed a silver truck in a church parking lot on South Lee Highway. While checking the premises, Dep. Morgan observed a male wearing a black tank top and red shorts exiting the rear window of the cab into the bed of the truck. Once the suspect noticed Dep. Morgan, ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Gold & Ivory Tablecloth

Not long ago, in my morning reading, I happened across an obscure tale about a special tablecloth. And, as things like this are more and more wont to do, I was instantly blessed by this story. As I tracked down its origin, I learned it originally appeared in a 1954 edition of Reader’s Digest. Written by the Rev. Howard C. Schade, who at the time was the pastor of the First Reformed ... (click for more)