House approves Haslam's bill giving governor more say in workers' comp claims

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The House has approved Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's bill to change the way the state considers injured workers' claims after defeating several attempts by Democrats to dial back the proposal.

The chamber voted 68-24 to approve the bill. The Senate would have to agree to minor changes before the measure can head for the governor's signature.

Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, the House Democratic leader, argued that the bill would give governors too much power over the workers' compensation program in the state because the executive branch would have complete power to select judges considering injured workers' claims and appeals.

He also argued the maximum allowable compensation under the bill levels would fall below the average benefits under the current law. But his efforts to change the bill failed.


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