Mo. Senate advances bill fixing disability fund

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators have passed legislation replenishing an insolvent fund for injured workers and limiting lawsuits for job-related diseases.

The 32-2 vote on Thursday sent the measure to the House.

The bill would eliminate a $25 million deficit in the Second Injury Fund by temporarily doubling the fee Missouri employers could be charged and limiting the types of injuries the fund covers.

The legislation also clarifies that job-related diseases are covered by the workers' compensation system, but carves out an enhanced benefit for people suffering from diseases caused by toxic exposure. Currently, workers with such diseases have been able to sue former employers and win expensive lawsuits.

After the vote, Attorney General Chris Koster released a statement praising the Senate for prioritizing the bill.

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