Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pigs... The Lot of 'em

"Screw the workers" bill almost made it out of committee

By Curmudgeon

You want to talk conflict of interest, take a look at this one from Paul Rolly's column in today's SL Trib:

Rep. Mike Morley's attempt to help employers get injured workers kicked off the workers' compensation insurance program got a cool reception from a state advisory committee overseeing workers' compensation issues.

The Spanish Fork Republican [of course --- Curm], who is a construction company owner, brought his HB384 to the Utah Labor Commission's Workers Comp Advisory Committee for a favorable recommendation to the Legislature, but only got a 5-5 vote Monday.

Employer-based groups backing the bill have clashed on the issue with advocates for the working class who oppose it. The bill creates avenues for companies to avoid liability if certain workers get hurt on the job. Morley's construction industry, by the way, is one of the industries most prone to injuries on the job.

His bill would make ineligible for workers' compensation benefits or disability payments an injured employee who was convicted of a crime, like being in the country illegally, for example. (The construction industry hires a lot of undocumented workers, by the way.) The proposal flies in the face of five Supreme Court decisions in other states, the latest being in South Carolina, where the court held such a law would encourage employers to hire undocumented workers since they wouldn't have the burden of insuring them because they wouldn't be eligible for workers' compensation.

Morley's bill also would allow a company to fire ''for cause'' an injured worker getting workers' compensation benefits at the time. That counters a 2006 Utah Supreme Court decision that said La-Z-Boy could not fire a worker while she was getting workers' compensation payments for injuries on the job.
The Gilded Age is alive and well and living in the Utah Legislature. If this passes, a company could hire a construction worker, and if he's injured on the job and gets workman's comp [which his employer has to contribute to], the employer can look back over his record, discover he's been late to work a couple of times, and fire him "for cause" and thus no longer have to pay a dime to cover his injuries.

These people are pigs. Flat out pigs. And this "screw the workers" bill almost made it out of committee. 5-5 vote. Just one more "yea" and it progresses.

Pigs. The lot of 'em.


RudiZink said...

Good catch, Curm. And I'll add another kicker. Find me a construction site that doesn't have at least a handfull of workers who've suffered misdemenor convictions.

You're right. The bill sucked.

It would also be interesting to get our hands on a list of those committee members who voted in favor of moving the bill forward.

Oh wow man. said...

Hate to bust you bubble, but the bill has not been in a standing committee.
I wonder where rolly got his info.

Oh wow man said...

Despite McCain missing vote, 1 million families in Utah to get relief from bipartisan stimulus package

The signing today of the bipartisan economic stimulus bill means that an estimated 1,000,000 families in Utah* will receive tax rebates of up to $1,200 per couple, plus $300 per child as early as mid-May. While most of Washington came together to provide much needed assistance to Utah families struggling to cope with higher cost of living expenses, stagnating wages, job losses and a mortgage crisis that threatens the economic security of countless Utahns one Republican in Washington was too worried about his presidential campaign to show up for a crucial vote.

Last week Republican frontrunner John McCain - who recently told reporters he "doesn't really understand economics" - was too busy campaigning and too afraid to alienate the right wing of his Party to vote on a key element of the stimulus package. Despite being in Washington, and despite the fact that fellow Senators who traveled with him made it to the Senate in time to vote, McCain was the only senator to miss a vote on whether to improve the economic stimulus package by adding assistance for 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans to the package. Because of McCain's absence, the measure fell one vote short.

"John McCain's decision to put his campaign interests ahead of protecting Utah's working families and veterans shows how out of touch he is with the struggles facing average Americans in Utah and around the country," said Utah Democratic Party Chair Wayne Holland. "The last thing we need is four more years of a president who puts what's good for himself ahead of what's good for our country. McCain clearly offers a third Bush term."

By getting money into the hands of America's families and small businesses, the plan is expected to add 500,000 jobs to the economy. The plan will provide a tax rebate for the low and middle-income families who are being hit hardest by the economic downturn. More than 130 million families, including 35 million families across the country who work but make too little to pay income taxes will receive a tax rebate. The plan will also provide recovery rebate checks to 28 million households of senior citizens and disabled veterans.

McCain Admits He "Doesn't Really Understand Economics." At a recent meeting with the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Republican presidential candidate John McCain admitted he "doesn't really understand economics" and then pointed to his adviser and former senate colleague, Phil Gramm - whom he had brought with him to the meeting - as the expert he turns to on the subject, the Huffington Post has learned. [Huffington Post, 1/21/2008]

John McCain Ducks Stimulus Vote. "Republican presidential candidate John McCain skipped a difficult Senate vote Wednesday on whether to make 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans eligible for rebate checks as part of a proposed economic stimulus package. The Arizona senator's decision to miss the vote appeared to come at the last minute, after his plane had landed at Dulles International Airport outside Washington just before the proceedings opened on the Senate floor." [Associated Press, 2/6/08]

McCain Afraid to Cross Conservatives Before CPAC Speech. "President Bush and Republican leaders, as well as conservatives McCain was scheduled to woo on Thursday, vehemently oppose the expanded benefits and subsidies. That put McCain in a bad political spot. Voting 'no' with Republican leaders would have offended millions of Social Security recipients and the disabled veterans not scheduled to receive rebates. Voting 'yes,' on the other hand, risked alienating Bush, GOP leaders and conservatives already suspicious of McCain's political leanings." [Associated Press, 2/6/08]

RudiZink said...

"Hate to bust you bubble, but the bill has not been in a standing committee.
I wonder where rolly got his info."

Good question, OWW. According to the state legislature's website, the bill didn't even arrive at the House Business & Labor Committee until yesterday:

H.B. 384 status

Curmudgeon said...

If five members did not vote to move the bill forward, as Rolly reported, I hereby withdraw the label "pigs" with respect to the committee members, and apologize for labeling them wrongly.

With respect to Mr. Morley, who submitted the bill, the label stands.

Bill C. said...

Hey guys, it was an advisory committee, not a house committee. All five advisors could be employers of illegals though, just a guess.

Ho Hum said...

My guess is that Rolly simply got the dates mixed up.

Otherwise, he was no doubt right.

Dr. Opposite said...

These corrupt Republicans are starting to behave like rats fleeing a sinking ship, don't you think, Curmudgeon?

Is it also possible that Mormon people in Utah might distance themselves from their worship of
the national Republican party, and still find themselves capable of electing Obama?

kenny said...

Oh wow

One million families in Utah? I don't think so, not by a long shot.
The State population is around 2.7 million and the average family size is 5.3, that means more like half a million families at the most.

There are about 810,000 total households in Utah.

Curmudgeon said...


OK, I need some educating here. What in Utah is an advisory committee in the legislative process, and how does it differ from a standing House or Senate committee in re: legislative responsibilities?

Bill C. said...

Curm, it appears to be an advisory committee that deals with the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund, not a legeslative function. Something more like the civil service commission or something.
Whats funny is that a tie must go to the runner, or this guy thinks he'll have more sway with his fellow Utah republican legislators.

Curmudgeon said...

Ah, I see... so he was looking for a preliminary call from the committee that what he proposed to do was constitutional or legal, then? And the committee split 5/5.

Are there advisory committees for other areas of legislation like this, committees of non-legislators who give opinions about the constitutionality/legality of proposed legislation, if asked? Or is this the only one?

Bill C. said...

Curm, I can't resist taking a small shot at you. In typing your article you provided quite clearly all the details.
Your beloved Utah Co. republican took his bill to the advisory committee of the Utah Labor Commission hoping to gain an endorsement for his bill, rallying support. I'm still baffled that a body thats supposed to be representing the interests of the labor market in our state could split on a measure like this. But this is Utah.

Bill C. said...

Curm, we must have been posting at the same time. I'm not sure if the Labor Commission is under the Legislative Branch or Executive Branch. I tend to think it's the latter.
As to others, what about Mining, Wildlife Resourses and I'm sure there are more. Iknow that Wildlife Resourses has an advisory committee, I have a cousin that has served on it.

Oh wow man. said...

Your point is?
I'll tell you MCcain still did not do us any favors.

OH ya, he has Utah in his hop pocket.

kenny said...

oh wow

The point is that you apparently play fast and lose with the facts, therefore your entire premise is suspect.

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