Quinn welcomes federal investigation into worker's comp system

April 1, 2011

Tony Arnold and Associated Press

(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn said he welcomes subpoenas from the federal government looking into worker's compensation claims.

The Associated Press reports federal prosecutors are investigating worker's comp claims at state agencies. More than half the staff at a downstate prison allegedly collected nearly $10 million for injuries over the past three years.

Quinn said he wants the legislature to act quickly.

"Workman's compensation reform, including the commission, and all those who work at the commission, and all who go through the doors of that commission, we're going to reform that this year, hell or high water," Quinn said.

Quinn administration officials released some of the proposals Quinn wants lawmakers to pass by later this month. Among them are cuts in payments to medical providers who treat people injured on the job. The administration estimates that could save $500 million. Quinn also wants to revamp the Workers' Compensation Commission. That includes requiring arbitrators to be licensed attorneys and letting the Court of Claims, and not arbitrators, hear cases when they involve commission appointees or their employees.