Governor signs work comp compromise
HELENA — Gov. Brian Schweitzer has signed the compromise plan he worked out with Republican leaders to reduce worker's compensation insurance rates universally regarded as among the most expensive in the country.
The bill marked the first big policy deal so far this session between Schweitzer, House Speaker Mike Milburn and Senate President Jim Peterson.
Supporters say it will cut work comp premiums by 40 percent within three years by trimming benefits to workers and cutting costs in other areas. Labor interests have been cool toward the deal, as have trial lawyers.
Labor representatives wanted a deal that took more of the savings from doctors and medical service providers instead of worker benefits they argue are not the cause of the cost problem.