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Changes proposed for Ky. workers' compensation bill

The Senate is positioned to take up House Bill 2, which would bring sweeping changes to the workers' compensation laws applauded by business but feared by unions who fought for their positions at one of the final committee meetings of this legislative session.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A bill that could change Kentucky's workers’ compensation laws faced passionate testimony as it moved into position for an important vote.

The plan pits the Kentucky Chamber, coal, and county officials’ organizations against police and other unions.

The Senate is positioned to take up House Bill 2, which would bring sweeping changes to the workers’ compensation laws applauded by business but feared by unions who fought for their positions at one of the final committee meetings of this legislative session.

Coal and Chamber of Commerce witnesses testified of a 'broken" system, unsustainable and in need of change.

Union groups called the effort greedy.

House Bill 2 had already made it through one chamber and needed to pass here so it can make it to the full Senate and on to Governor Matt Bevin.

The plan would require those with lifetime workers’ compensation benefits to go before a judge at 15 years and have their benefits renewed.

The bill passed committee with one Republican voting against and two more voting in favor but saying they still have some concerns.

Because the bill has progressed to this point, it could be called at any moment the Senate is in session.

Lawmakers have limited time to get their work done because after this week most of their attention is spent on finalizing the budget, connecting bills between the chambers and preparing to override any of the governor's vetoes.

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