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Workers Compensation Fund

Posted - Jun. 30, 2003 at 9:27 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Lawmakers should be extremely leery of fully privatizing Utah’s Workers Compensation Fund!

Since 1917, the state sponsored fund has served as the insurer of last resort for thousands of Utah businesses that are required to provide on-the-job injury coverage for workers.

By all accounts, the fund is well managed and exceptionally successful.

As with most businesses, it is natural for those involved to want to expand the operation and seek other markets, especially in other states. But, to do so would require severing ties with state government. The governor would no longer appoint the fund’s board members.

That step, however, could result in the revocation of the fund’s coveted tax-exempt status. And that, in turn, could lead to the possibility Utah firms would no longer have available a so-called insurer of last resort with its relatively low premiums. It could put Utah workers at risk, thus contradicting the very reasons for the fund’s establishment in the first place.

As much as some legislators want the money privatization of the fund would bring into state coffers, and as anxious as its managers are to break the shackles of state oversight, KSL believes totally privatizing Utah’s Workers Compensation Fund isn’t such a good idea.

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