In legislative news:

SB107, the measure extending the Second Injury Fund another five years until 2020, passed favorably out of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee yesterday. Further, an amendment was added to the bill and unanimously approved yesterday that removes the sunset provision entirely. Senator Peacock, who sponsored the bill at the request of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, stated that eliminating the sunset provision will streamline the process, and of course, avoid the procedural necessity of reviewing the Fund through the Legislature every five years. Louisiana is one of only a handful of states that still has a Second Injury Fund. Originally designed to incentivize the employment of disabled individuals, many states have done away with the Funds over concerns about added bureaucracy and a lack of concrete evidence suggesting that employers understand and take advantage of the incentive. By removing the sunset provision, Louisiana is bucking the national trend and establishing the permanence of the Second Injury Fund in our state. At the most recent WCAC meeting, Council member Troy Prevot, Administrator of LCTA, indicated that though he supports the extension, he would like to see additional work undertaken to “study” the Fund and its effectiveness.

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