First responders vow to fight new bill restricting workman's comp benefits

First responders vow to fight new bill restricting workman's comp benefits

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new bill restricting workman's comp benefits has some officers nervous it could be 'harmful' to all workers, including first responders.

House Bill 2 would limit state workers from receiving medical treatment past 15 years for an injury obtained while in the line of duty. The bill does make an exception for those with a total disability, permanent partial paralysis and certain amputations.

The bill is now being contested by the Fraternal Order of Police.

The FOP said they're worried those affected would include first responders with permanent partial disabilities who would need long term care, or first responders who don't know when the injury could manifest itself, like those with a back injury.

LMPD officers are expected to attend a committee hearing Thursday morning to stop the bill from going forward.

"Workers comp system in Kentucky functions very well," FOP President, Nicolai Jilek, told Wave 3 News. "There is no need to lessen workers comp benefits for the working men and women in Kentucky. In fact, the system is working so well, we should be talking about how to improve benefits."

Supporters of the bill said the changes would help keep Kentucky businesses competitive, and that there are parts of the current system that do nothing but drive up rates for employers who could see double digit increases.

Kentucky Representative Adam Koenig is pushing for the new changes.

He told WAVE 3 News if a person needs medical care beyond the 15 year cap, they can ask for a two year extension under the new bill.

WAVE 3 News will keep you updated as to the latest developments on this bill.

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