Legislature divided on worker's compensation bill

By Laura Tillman/The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Legislature is split on a bill that would make sweeping changes to the worker’s compensation law according to opponents but return fairness to a system tilted toward workers said supporters.

The House defeated a version of the bill while the Senate passed a similar bill,.

Rep. Ed Blackmon, a Democrat from Canton and an attorney, told House members that the changes benefited the insurance industry not workers.

Rep. Mark Formby, a Republican from Picayune, says court decisions have liberally construed the law to benefit the worker. He says the bill would restore fairness.

Sen. Will Longwitz, a Republican from Madison, says he thinks the bill would create an environment that is more attractive for business.

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The bills are House Bill 555 and Senate Bill 2576.