Many of you who have followed all of our posts on the continuing saga of workers' compensation "reform" in Illinois have asked about whether the Governor has signed the bill (HB 1698 and all of its amendments) yet. The answer, surprisingly, is "no."
What does this mean? Well, we can't presume to know either. Clearly, the deal that was reached by all sides and then voted on is unlikely to be something Governor Quinn (or is it really Real Governor Mike Madigan acting to control the Puppet Governor Quinn?) claimed publicly to be in favor of and ready to sign. Unlike the massive gambling bill that Quinn is probably going to take most of the summer to object to, modify, negotiate on, and otherwise try to get his way, this one had "consensus" written all over it.
So again, what gives?
Could be that he is waiting for a great time to show how much he cares about keeping businesses in Illinois, or maybe a family occasion or parade over the Fourth of July. Might also be that he wants to leverage this to other legislation.
Either way, not much buzz to pick up on this somewhat puzzling delay.
As we've written before, this is not the world's worst workers' comp reform bill and it is not as bad as abolition of the system, as threatened. But it will likely hurt workers, decrease the value of their cases, diminish their choices of doctors, and provide more ammunition for employers to use in the constant battle between workplace safety and profitability versus worker rights.
While we are not hoping for this to get signed anytime soon, the uncertainty is mildly annoying and the delay is certainly at least a bit puzzling.