The State Senate has approved a final version of a workers’ compensation reform bill, although critics say legislative negotiators have buckled under to powerful lobbying groups. Pro-labor Democrats and pro-business Republicans reached a tenuous truce on the proposal earlier this year in the State Senate, but when negotiators for the House and Senate worked out the final version of the bill, the Senate Democrats say the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and a competing business group, Associated Industries of Missouri, destroyed the Senate compromises. Senator Victor Callahan of Independence says it’s a bad bill that will hurt workers and deny damages to employees legitimately injured on the job. He criticizes Republicans for not trying impose controls on insurance companies. Senate sponsor John Loudon dismisses criticisms from Democrats such as Callahan. House approval will send the bill to Governor Matt Blunt.
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