May 16, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster and Treasurer Clint Zweifel today thanked the General Assembly for passing Senate Bill 1, which implements a temporary surcharge increase beginning in 2014 to address the shortfall in the Second Injury Fund.
Attorney General Koster said:
“I thank the General Assembly for passing Senate Bill 1, which addresses the insolvency of the Second Injury Fund. I particularly appreciate the bill’s sponsor, Senator Scott Rupp, and Representative Todd Richardson, who handled the legislation in the House, for their dedication throughout the session to reach a bipartisan agreement on the bill.
Due to the Fund’s insolvency, the state is currently withholding payments totaling in excess of $32 million from more than 1,200 injured workers. Missouri workers deserve a fiscally sound resolution to this tremendous problem, and I commend the General Assembly for acting today.”
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel said:
“I would like to applaud the efforts of the General Assembly for passing Senate Bill 1 today. Missourians needed a solution that provided two things, fiscal responsibility and protection for employees who are injured at work through no fault of their own. Senate Bill 1 puts us on a path to achieve this and allows us to begin the work we need to do to protect Missouri’s workers.”
Because the bill’s provisions do not take effect until January 1, 2014, the Second Injury Fund will not see increased revenue from the additional surcharge until the following April--the end of the first quarter of next year. This will require the state to continue to manage withheld awards for some period of time. However, Koster indicated that his office will “immediately begin assessing when back payments could begin to be made to injured workers.”