2017 Montana Legislature
The Montana Legislature is now in session. For those that might think there is nothing more they can do to harm injured workers, think again. This session, like all previous sessions the past 2+ decades will have bills that seek to lessen or severely restrict the already low benefits of workers. Here’s a list, many still in draft form, of work comp bills this session. While there are a couple (presumption for firefighters and worker’s choice of physician – long odds against these passing) that benefit workers, most seek to further limit worker’s rights.
To let your legislators know how you feel, contact them here.
What Others Are Saying
By Dean Blackaby
Senator Buttrey (R-Great Falls) Starts Legislative Assault on Montana’s Injured Workers
Great Falls legislator Ed Buttrey is leading this year’s assault on injured workers in the Montana Legislature. The legislative website identifies six bill requests by Senator Buttrey. Currently, there are drafts available for review for four while two remain as placeholders.
The available text from four of the bills demonstrates that Senator Buttrey has little regard for the Montana Constitution and even less regard for injured workers. While the system is intended to provide protection for employers as well, it should not do so at the expense of constitutional rights. His bill requests range from violating medical privacy with vague language regarding a release of information to pretending that a treating physician’s opinion should not carry more weight. His subrogation bill will threaten the recovery of injured workers with third party personal injury claims. Finally, his “fraud” bill will basically allow insurers to take a mulligan on liability decisions.
(rest of article at this link)