Interest groups on all sides of the political spectrum are still tallying up the results of the just concluded session of the General Assembly. While the state’s leading business organization calls the 2007 a "quirky" one that produced positive results, it laments the fact an issue of great concern to employers was not settled. And, that business group – the Missouri Chamber of Commerce – puts a lot of the blame on a Republican lawmaker.
Chamber President Dan Mehan had hoped the Missouri House would follow the lead of the State Senate in approving SB 668 – a fix to a State Supreme Court ruling known as the Schoemehl decision, which drastically changed the Second Injury Fund from a system to protect disabled workers to a form of life insurance for dependents of a deceased employee named Schoemehl.
Mehan puts the blame on Representative Steve Hunter (R-Joplin), Chair of the House Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety, who refused to allow the bill to be considered for a vote. Mehan says it was "highly irresponsible" for Hunter to stand in the way of legislation supported by Governor Matt Blunt, all Senators, and business and labor leaders – legislation Mehan insists would have fixed the problem.
While not calling for a special session to deal with the issue, the Chamber would not object to this matter being made part any special session that might be called to coincide with September’s veto session.