News Digest 2-7-2020

Quote of the day

Quote of the Day

“Even though the testimony today was more helpful … I think that we have missed some opportunities to look into the implications rather than just talking about whether or not it should or should not be legalized. That’s going to be decided by the people in November ….”

North Dakota Rep. Shannon Roers Jones, R-Fargo, regarding the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana

Dickinson Press


Missouri lawmakers address PTSD coverage for first responders

First responders recounted their traumatizing experiences during a Missouri Senate committee hearing this week, testifying in favor of a bill that would make it easier for them to receive workers’ compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder. If the measure is enacted, they would have a presumption in a workers’ comp claim that the mental health issue is work-related, although the employer would still have the opportunity to prove otherwise. MDJOnline/Neighbor Newspapers


North Dakota lawmakers hear arguments on recreational cannabis

Currently, if an employee in North Dakota who is under the influence of marijuana is injured on the job, the impairment would be presumed to have caused the injury, and the employee would not have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. On Tuesday, supporters, opponents and field experts on the issue of recreational marijuana argued their cases before North Dakota legislators, nine months before voters in the state could opt to legalize it. Dickinson Press


In Vermont, health insurance increases impacting state college budgets

The Vermont State Colleges System expects another difficult budget season, mostly because of skyrocketing health insurance costs. The system’s medical reserve fund, which combines the annual surplus or deficit of medical, prescription drug and dental self-insurance programs, workers’ compensation and tuition remission expenses, is nearly depleted, in part because of higher than expected medical and workers’ compensation claims and tuition waivers. The schools are unlikely to get additional help from the state. VTDigger


New workers’ comp measures in play in Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers are considering some proposals to alter the state workers’ compensation system during this legislative session. One bill would make chiropractic care an allowable medical treatment. Additionally, the state chamber is pushing legislators to protect a 2013 reform and change the medical fee schedule. Tahlequah Daily Press


Well services company sued over pad fire

A lawsuit arising out of an employee’s injuries from a 2018 fire at a Pennsylvania shale gas well pad accuses an oil field company of causing the injuries through its practice of “hot fueling,” refilling the tanks on the pumps of the hydraulic fracturing wells without halting the operation to turn them off. The energy company previously was fined more than $12,000 by Fed-OSHA. Observer-Reporter