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Health News Florida

Republican Leaders Expect Action on Workers’ Comp

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater said he expects lawmakers to take action during the 2017 legislative session on workers' comp.
Florida CFO Jeff Atwater said he expects lawmakers to take action during the 2017 legislative session on workers' comp.

With Florida businesses facing a 14.5 percent increase in workers' compensation insurance rates, state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and a key Republican senator said they expect lawmakers to take action during the 2017 legislative session.

Atwater warned Thursday that rates will continue to climb and eventually "will impact the recovery" if the Legislature doesn't address the issue during the session.

The state on Tuesday said rates should go up 14.5 percent, mostly because of a Florida Supreme Court ruling in April that struck down limits on attorneys' fees in workers' compensation cases. The National Council on Compensation Insurance, which makes rate filings for workers' compensation insurers, had requested a 19.6 percent hike.

The 14.5 percent increase, slated to start taking effect Dec. 1, remains contingent on the National Council on Compensation Insurance making a revised rate filing.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said Wednesday he anticipates "comprehensive" legislation about the workers' compensation issue.

While the 14.5 percent increase didn't reach the requested 19.6 percent, Galvano said "it's not something we can accept."

 

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