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Senate: Higher Workers' Comp Rates Here To Stay


Higher workers’ compensation rates in Florida are likely here to stay, warns a key player in the Florida Senate.

Republican Rob Bradley of Fleming Island says his goal is rate stabilization.

Employer groups like the Florida Chamber of Commerce are demanding action after rates soared 14.5 percent in December in the wake of recent Florida Supreme Court decisions.  

But Bradley says the Senate is unwilling to cut health benefits, and rate reductions are too much to expect. 

“Our workers’ comp system is kind of middle of the pack when it comes to the rate levels and they’ve been reduced significantly over the years.”

Bradley says comprehensive legislation should be filed in his chamber within three weeks and that overhauling the system may take more than a single session.

Meanwhile, Bradley says he’s surprised a key reform – a public records exemption for injury claims – received scant attention when it was filed last week. He says the measure would make it harder for attorneys to solicit injured workers.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.