Tag Archives: Illinois

Injured Worker in ProPublica/NPR Story Testifies Before Illinois Legislature – ProPublica


An injured worker featured in a ProPublica and NPR investigation into the rollback of workers’ compensation nationwide warned Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday not to make the same drastic cuts that his state has made in recent years.

John Coffell, who lost his home after hurting his back at an Oklahoma tire plant, testified as part of an eight-hour hearing on workers’ comp before the entire Illinois state assembly. The rare hearing of “the committee as a whole” was called by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan as a preemptive strike of sorts as newly elected Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner prepares a number of changes to reduce costs for employers.

As part of his “turnaround agenda,” Rauner has proposed:

Toughening standards so that employees must prove that work caused more than 50 percent of their injuries rather than just aggravating an existing condition

Relying more heavily on disability rating guides that reduce compensation for workers who suffer permanent injuries

Allowing workers’ comp judges to give equal weight to opinions of doctors hired by insurance companies rather than giving deference to workers’ physicians

Reducing the maximum medical fees that doctors and hospitals can charge by 30 percent

ProPublica and NPR reported earlier this year that more than 30 states have changed their workers’ comp laws since 2003, largely to appeal more to business. Those changes — which mirror some proposed in Illinois — have reduced benefits for injured workers, created hurdles to medical care, or made it more difficult for workers to qualify.

As in many states, workers’ comp in Illinois has become a bargaining chip. Rauner has insisted that changes to the laws must be made in exchange for any increase in the state’s minimum wage.

During the hearing, Rep. Jay Hoffman, a Democrat from southwestern Illinois, said the assembly should learn from the experiences of workers like Coffell, who were victims of both tragic accidents and “short-sighted policies” enacted by their legislatures.

“Their representatives may have called these actions ‘reforms.’ They may have talked about the business climate. They may have talked about the need to root out fraud. But what they really did is they denied hard-working, middle-class families the care they need and the support they deserve,” Hoffman said. “This side of the aisle will not join other states in a race to the bottom.”

The ProPublica and NPR series has led to bills to raise benefits in Alabama and prevent medical care from being cut off in California. Officials have also warned insurers in California not to abuse the process and have launched an audit of how one insurer handled a claim in which a paraplegic’s home health care was terminated. In Illinois, Coffell’s testimony appears to have been used to try to douse the governor’s proposals.

Coffell told the legislators that after injuring a disc in his back last summer, his pay dropped dramatically because Oklahoma had reduced the maximum wage-replacement benefits injured workers could receive from $801 a week to $561 a week.

Almost immediately, he said, his utilities were cut off, his truck was repossessed and his family was evicted from their rental home. Because no relative could accommodate all of them, Coffell sent his three children, aged 5 to 9, to live with grandparents. He and his wife only had enough gas money to see them on weekends. They’ve had to rely on food stamps to get by.

Asked by a legislator how it felt to not be able to support his family, Coffell said, “It’s indescribable, really. Pretty much if I was to give a crazy example, if you were to see your husband or child drowning in a pool, but not being able to get them out of it. Kind of the same feeling.”

The hearing repeatedly drew comparisons between Illinois, which has relatively high benefits and costs, and Indiana, which has relatively low benefits and the second cheapest insurance rates for employers in the country.

Workers and their families praised Illinois’ law. Christine Fuller — who lived in Indiana, but whose father died from falling off a roof on a job in Illinois — said the survivor benefits she received from workers’ comp helped pay the mortgage and put her through college and graduate school.

via Injured Worker in ProPublica/NPR Story Testifies Before Illinois Legislature – ProPublica.

new at euzicasa: widget – movie sound.org access here and whenever you’d like from the sidebar! (should open in a new window! While there check out the many widgets I created and archived for your easy access!)


new at euzicasa: widget – movie sound.org access here and whenever you’d like from the sidebar! (should open in a new window! While there check out the many widgets I created and archived for your easy access!)

Movie Sounds org

Movie Sounds org

Stores receipts, foot long with BPA’s: at ForEffectiveGov


today’s holiday: Jordbruksdagarna


Jordbruksdagarna

The town of Bishop Hill, Illinois, was founded in 1846 by a group of Swedes fleeing religious persecution in the Old World. Their leader, Eric Jansson, sailed across the Atlantic with 1,200 followers to form the colony. Many of the descendants of the original colonists still live in Bishop Hill or nearby towns, and they continue to celebrate a number of traditional Swedish holidays. One of these is Jordbruksdagarna, or Agricultural Days, a two-day celebration featuring harvest demonstrations, 19th-century crafts and children’s games, and ample servings of Colony Stew. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith


Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as Mormons, commemorate the day on which their founder, Joseph Smith, and his brother, Hyrum, were murdered in the city jail in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844. Joseph had announced his candidacy for presidency earlier that year; as the mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, Smith saw to it that the press used to print the opposition newspaper was destroyed. Threats of mob violence followed, and Smith and his brother were jailed for treason. A mob of men stormed the jail on June 27 and killed them, thus elevating them to the status of martyrs. More… Discuss

THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE ENIGMA TORNADO OUTBREAK (1884)


The Enigma Tornado Outbreak (1884)

One of the largest and severest tornado outbreaks in US history, the Enigma Outbreak of 1884 consisted of at least 50 and possibly more than 60 tornados that tore across 10 states over a 15-hour period. In addition to the question of exactly how many tornados touched down during the outbreak, there are the “enigmas” of precisely how many people died—estimates range from 178 to 1,200—and the extent of the property damage sustained. Best estimates place the figure at how many millions of dollars? More…Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Years Of Censoring `Oz’ – Chicago Tribune


The-Wonderful-Wizard-of-Oz

Years Of Censoring `Oz’ – Chicago Tribune.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Word: FROWSTY


frowsty 

Definition: (adjective) Stale and unclean smelling.
Synonyms: fustymusty
Usage: As a college student, all I could afford was a frowsty basement apartment, but it served its purpose. Discuss.

 

The Night Chicago Died



The Night Chicago Died

If you’d like to purchase a CD that includes this song please follow this link http://amzn.to/Mi1g9u 

Daddy was a cop On the east side of Chicago Back in the U S A Back in the bad old days
In the heat of a summer night In the land of the dollar bill When the town of Chicago died And they talk about it still
When a man named Al Capone Tried to make that town his own And he called his gang to war With the forces of the law
I heard my mama cry I heard her pray the night Chicago died Brother what a night it really was Brother what a fight it really was, glory be
I heard my mama cry I heard her pray the night Chicago died Brother what a night the people saw Brother what a fight the people saw, yes indeed
And the sound of the battle rang Through the streets of the old east side ‘Til the last of the hoodlum gang Had surrendered up or died
There was shouting in the street And the sound of running feet And I asked someone who said ‘Bout a hundred cops are dead
I heard my mama cry I heard her pray the night Chicago died Brother what a night it really was Brother what a fight it really was, glory be
I heard my mama cry I heard her pray the night Chicago died Brother what a night the people saw Brother what a fight the people saw, yes indeed
Then there was no sound at all But the clock upon the wall
Then the door burst open wide And my daddy stepped inside And he kissed my mama’s face And he brushed her tears away
The night Chicago died The night Chicago died Brother what a night the people saw Brother what a fight the people saw, yes indeed
The night Chicago died The night Chicago died Brother what a night it really was Brother what a fight it really was, glory be

 

This Day In History: The Donner Party Leaves Illinois, 1846: Destination…California


Donner Party Sets Out on Ill-Fated Journey from Illinois to California (1846)

The Donner Party was a group of families from Illinois and Iowa that set out for California following a little-used, supposedly shorter, route across Utah. The shortcut only tired and delayed the party, and while recovering at what is now Donner Lake in the Sierra Nevada, the group was trapped by early snow. Many died, several while trying to get help; some reportedly resorted to cannibalism. Rescuers reached the survivors in February 1847. How many of the 87 pioneers survived the ordeal? More… Discuss