Earlier this month the Missouri State Senate voted to pass SB 1, which is a bill that would temporarily raise fees paid by businesses into the Second Injury Fund and redefining what injuries the fund will cover.
In 2005, a law passed in the Missouri Legislature decreased the amount of a special fee Missouri businesses pay into to the Fund to help workers who have been injured on the job who also have significant pre-existing injuries. As a result of the reduced fee, The Second Injury Fund is now in a $25 million shortfall in part due to the 2005 cap. This year, the Missouri Senate has voted to approve a measure brought by State Senator Scott Rupp that would temporarily double the amount businesses will pay into the Fund in an effort to reduce or eliminate the shortfall. The new bill would also redefine what is considered a work-related accident in an attempt to prevent civil cases being brought against employers for occupational diseases.
The bill, SB 1, has passed the State Senate and has been referred to the House Workforce Development and Workplace Safety Committee for consideration, according to the Missouri Legislature's website.