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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Gov. Sanford Forms Workers' Compensation Reform Task Force
July 28, 2005


Contact: Joel Sawyer  803-734-2100  [email protected]

Columbia, S.C. - July 27, 2005 - Gov. Mark Sanford today announced the
formation of his Workers' Compensation Reform Task Force to conduct a
top-to-bottom review of South Carolina's Workers' Compensation system and make proposals to control spiraling premium increases. The Task Force was formed after Governor Sanford's July Cabinet Meeting, during which the governor asked Department of Commerce Secretary Bob Faith and Department of Insurance Director Eleanor Kitzman to recommend a broad-based group of business owners, physicians, insurance representatives and attorneys to examine the issue. This comes in response to the National Council on Compensation Insurance recently filing a request with the SC Department of Insurance to raise workers' compensation premiums by nearly 33 percent, in what would be the third consecutive year of double-digit premium increases for South Carolina's businesses.

"In 2002, we had the seventh-lowest workers' compensation premiums in the nation. If this latest increase is carried out we'll we be ranked among the top half of the states in what our businesses pay for workers compensation insurance," Gov. Sanford said. "South Carolina's businesses, and especially our small businesses, simply cannot afford to have their premiums continue to increase at this rate. We've made a number of reforms -- like income tax relief and tort reform -- in the past year that enhance our competitive edge when it comes to growing businesses and creating jobs. I think the work this
group does will go a long way toward keeping our state on the right track with respect to making sure we have fertile soil conditions for job creation and economic development."

South Carolina's workers, compensation premiums increased 17.3 percent in 2003, compared to a national average of 6.65 percent. Last year, they rose another 11.4 percent compared to an average decrease of 6 percent nationally. In addition to looking at ways to control premium increases the group will review a number of other workers' compensation proposals, like ensuring more uniformity in workers' compensation decisions and awards, and the possibility of increasing mediation requirements in order to reduce the current backlog of cases.

The members of Gov. Sanford's Workers' Compensation Reform Task
Force and Executive Order 2005-16 that creates the Task Force are


Joel D. Sawyer
Communications Office, Governor Mark Sanford
Office Phone: (803) 734-5254
Office Fax: (803) 734-6447

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