Missouri’s business organizations often take the same positions on legislation affecting the business community, but legislation passed in the waning hours of the 2008 session of the General Assembly is leading to some business leaders not seeing eye-to-eye.
The Legislature approved what is being called a “fix” to the Schoemehl case, which is a 2007 Missouri Supreme Court decision that resulted in Second Injury Fund benefits being paid to the surviving spouse of a disabled worker who had died of causes unrelated to his work injury.
Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan applauds the fix but says this is only a partial fix because the Second Injury Fund is still headed for bankruptcy, and he blames Representative Steve Hunter (R-Joplin) because of his attempt to exempt small businesses from having to contribute to the fund.
Brad Jones, Director of the Missouri/National Federation of Independent Business had applauded Hunter’s plan, saying small businesses with 50 employees or less should not have to contribute to a fund they do not use. Mehan says you can’t restore solvency by exempting most Missouri employers.