MACo Associate Director Les Knapp and county representatives testified in support of SB 1 before the Senate Finance Committee on January 18 and its crossfile, HB 40, before the House Economic Matters Committee on January 26. The bill is sponsored by Senator Mac Middleton and Delegate Brian Feldman.
The bill would add a self-insured local government representative to the Joint Committee Workers’ Compensation Benefit and Insurance Oversight. The duties of the Committee involve examining the condition of the workers’ compensation benefit and insurance structure in the State, including the adequacy and appropriateness of all workers’ compensation benefits.
Mr. Knapp and several county representatives stressed the importance of having a self-insured local government voice on the Joint Committee, as they are exposed to a significant amount of workers’ compensation claims. They also noted that local governments often have concerns and issues that are different from the rest of the workers’ compensation community.
No one testified in opposition to the bill although other proponents offered amendments to add an additional member for the non-union construction industry. Representatives from the Maryland Association of Justice argued that the membership needed to be “balanced” and that a plaintiffs’ attorney who represents employees of local government in workers’ compensation be added.