FRANKFORT— The inaugural meeting of the 2016 Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Task Force was called to order Friday, August 19, with task force co-chair Rep. Chris Harris at the helm.
Rep. Harris, D-Forest Hills, was appointed House chairman of the task force after the group’s creation by the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly with the passage of House Concurrent Resolution 185. The resolution requires that the task force meet at least three times before submitting a report to lawmakers by Dec. 1 on both the current state of Kentucky’s workers’ compensation system and recommendations for improved delivery of workers’ compensation benefits.
The report will be submitted to the 16-member Legislative Research Commission, or LRC, which may then refer the report to the appropriate legislative committee or committees.
“No major changes have been made to the workers’ compensation system in 14 years,” said Rep. Harris, an Eastern Kentucky attorney. “The General Assembly needs to review the system from top to bottom and give consideration to possible changes that will allow the system to meet the challenges of 21st century Kentucky.”
Friday’s meeting in Frankfort included testimony from Dr. John Ruser, CEO and President of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, and Kentucky Labor Cabinet Department of Workers’ Claims Commissioner Dwight Lovan. The next meeting of the task force will be scheduled for late summer or early fall.
Rep. Harris co-chairs the 2016 Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Task Force with Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington. Other members of the 24-member task force are: Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown; Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger; Commissioner Dwight Lovan, Department of Workers’ Claims [ex officio]; Secretary Derrick Ramsey, Labor Cabinet [ex officio]; Steve Barger, Kentucky Justice Association; Chris Bartley, Kentucky Professional Firefighters; John Bolton, Teamsters Local 89; Carl Breeding, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers; JD Chaney, Kentucky League of Cities; Ray Daniels, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Joe Dawahare, Kentucky Retail Federation; Rick Fouts, Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters; Larry Gardner, CWA Local 3310; Ched Jennings, Kentucky Worker’s Association; Michelle Landers, Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance Authority; William Londrigan, KY AFL-CIO; Jeff Roberts, Kentucky Justice Association; Melissa Stevens, Kentucky Workers’ Comp Insurance Carriers; Tim Sturgill, Kentucky Association of Counties; Lori Sullivan, Self-Insured Employers; Tom Underwood, National Federation of Independent Business/Kentucky; Tim Wilson, Kentucky Worker’s Association.
Rep. Harris represents the state’s 93rd House District in Pike and Martin counties.