Candidates for 46th House Dist. discuss workmen's compensation
The candidates for the state's 46th District House seat agree that lowering property taxes and keeping businesses in Illinois should be a goal of state legislators.
The question is whether regulating workers' compensation is the way to do it.
Democratic incumbent Deb Conroy, a full-time legislator from Villa Park, has called the state's lack of regulation over insurance companies one of the state's largest issues.
Glendale Heights Republican Heidi Holan, who is challenging Conroy for a second consecutive election, says it's a discussion that needs be had, but current lawmakers don't want to put it on the table.
Conroy says regulations need to be in place on insurance companies to keep more businesses from fleeing the state.
"When I talk to my manufacturers and my business owners, I ask every one of them 'Have your insurance policies for workmen's comp gone down?' and they always say no," Conroy said. "The insurance companies are continuing to make huge profits off this while the payments being paid out are much less."
Holan, however, said the industry may need guidance more than regulations.
"What are we putting forth as regulations? I'm not a big fan of regulations but there needs to be overall guidance. No one is going to deny that," Holan said. "If someone is injured on the job, they need to be paid out for their injuries. I'm not going to second guess that. The question is how it's determined and if there needs to be something done with the insurance agency."
Conroy says the compensation insurance industry is out of control.
"The problem is we have so many people in the business of workmen's compensation insurance in Illinois because it is so horrendously competitive and there is so much money to be made," she said. "That is where our problem is. Unfortunately you can't get insurance companies to talk to anyone at the state level about this."
Holan said she would get the conversation moving.
"I think this has to be put on the table. And all of these details, truth be told, need to be reviewed."
Right now, Holan said, "it's not even on the table for discussion.
"It's one of the reasons these businesses are leaving, so why don't we hear these discussions going on?"
The 46th House District includes portions of Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, Addison, Elmhurst, Lombard and Villa Park.