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Legislative session update

New laws bump MLAC terms to three years and increase some PTD benefits.

posted July 10, 2017

2017 legislative session update

It was a good session for workers’ compensation issues. Before the final gavel fell, the governor had signed into law several workers’ comp bills, including:

  • HB 2337, which increases some permanent total disability benefits
  • HB 2192, which increases MLAC terms from two to three years
  • HB 2335, which allows WCD to appoint two-member medical arbiter panels
  • HB 2338, which modernizes death benefit eligibility for children of workers killed on the job

Originally proposed by the Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD), these bills involved only incremental changes to the workers’ comp system. Continuing the historic process for proposed changes to the Oregon system, the Management Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC) reviewed and recommended legislative approval for each WCD bill.

MLAC and the management/labor partnership are at the heart of Oregon’s system. Because only two current legislative members were in office before the 1990 reforms that created MLAC, SAIF joined representatives from WCD, other insurers, and business and labor early in the session to educate legislative leaders and members of certain committees about our workers’ comp history. Additionally, SAIF met with 17 new members of the legislature, because educating them is another key to keeping a healthy and balanced workers’ comp system.