Governor Laura Kelly Signs Senate Bill 430, Enhancing Kansas Workers Compensation System

By Trish Svoboda

On May 29, Governor Laura Kelly endorsed Senate Bill 430, a bipartisan bill that extensively changes the state’s workers compensation system. The signing ceremony was attended by representatives from the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL), the Kansas National Guard, key negotiators, business associations, and labor unions from all over Kansas.

Senate Bill 430 extends coverage to the Kansas National Guard members and simplifies the workers compensation procedure. The bill also raises the maximum benefits for injured workers and introduces a cost-of-living adjustment to these limits, effective 2027.

“Senate Bill 430 is a win for our workforce, our businesses, and organized labor,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “The changes to the Kansas Workers Compensation Act will keep employers’ costs down while ensuring injured workers receive treatment in a timely manner.”

Set to go into effect on July 1, 2024, key components of the compromise include:

· A reduction in the Social Security offset,

· A limit on the use of independent medical exams,

· A requirement for parties to exchange medical records prior to a preliminary hearing,

· Introduction of medical reports without taking depositions, and

· The ability to settle by written agreement rather than through a hearing.

This agreement was a collaborative effort between business and labor. Both parties were dedicated to preserving a workplace environment that values employee welfare, while also ensuring business productivity and expansion.

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