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House Passes Workers’ Compensation Reform Measure

House Bill 296 cleared that chamber along a largely party-line vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration; this measure is the first comprehensive workplace injury bill that Kentucky lawmakers have considered in nearly two decades.

Chief sponsor Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger) said that he and other lawmakers “worked incredibly hard to pass a fix to workers’ compensation for the sake of both workers and businesses.” He predicts that, if the measure passes, it will save over $100 million  year, largely by limiting temporary disability payments and reducing the amount of time that workers have to file claims. The bill also establishes a prescription drug formulary for workplace injury victims and streamlines the system for agreed treatment cases.

Immediately prior to the vote, lawmakers defeated an amendment that would have increased attorneys’ fees and worker benefits.

Lawmakers Prioritize New Nursing Home

Bowling Green Democrat Jody Richards will not be Speaker Pro Tem in the next House session, but he plans to aggressively push the local agenda in Frankfort.

For the first time since Rep. Richards came to the statehouse in 1976, Republicans control the Commonwealth’s House of Representatives. Nevertheless, he believes his “history of treating the minority party fairly” will help propel some projects forwards, such as the proposed Bowling Green veteran’s nursing home. Legislators have already pre-filed two bills on the subject for the upcoming session; Rep. Richards sponsors one and plans to co-sponsor the other one. He wants construction to begin on the facility “as soon as possible.”

Invisible War Wounds

Before World War I, all the world’s armies used picric acid in their cannons and shells, a compound similar to the one common in modern-day fireworks. In 1902, the German army became the first military force to use TNT, and for the most part, TNT is still in use today. So, the difference between a battle in 1900 and one in 1914 is like the difference between visiting a Fourth of July fireworks show and a free-fire zone in Iraq or Afghanistan.