Worker's Compensation Advisory Council
      Council on Worker’s Compensation
      Meeting Minutes
      Madison, Wisconsin
      November 29, 2007
       

      Members present:   Mr. Beiriger, Mr. Brand, Ms. Huntley-Cooper, Mr. Kent, Mr. Redman, Mr. Shaver, Ms. Vetter, and Mr. Nettum (for Mr. Schimke)

      Excused:   Ms. Bean, Mr. Buchen, Mr. Furley, Mr. Newby, Mr. Olson, Mr. Scott

      Staff present:   Mr. Conway, Mr. O’Malley, Ms. Knutson, Mr. Aiello and Mr. Krueger

      1. Call to Order/Introductions: Ms. Huntley-Cooper convened the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) meeting at approximately 10:00 a.m. in accordance with Wisconsin’s open meetings law. WCAC members, staff and members of the audience introduced themselves.
         
      2. Minutes: The minutes of the November 20, 2007 meeting were approved without correction.
         
      3. Draft Legislative Proposal Review: Mr. O’Malley reported that Mr. Tom Dettmer had recommended changes to the bill draft on page 32 lines 12-16, regarding professional employer organizations, deleting a paragraph that amends sec. 102.315(9)(c). The PEO Committee did not recommend the current bill draft language, rather the drafter simply included the amendment. The WCAC agreed to the deletion of the paragraph from the bill draft.

        Mr. Beiringer indicated that Management was withdrawing its proposal to amend sections 102.17(4) and 102.66 relating to payment of medical expenses for barred traumatic claims. Labor agreed to these changes in the bill draft.

        With regard to the effective date for the proposed change in occupational hearing loss cases, Management indicated it was their intent that the statutory change in benefits be effective for any claims made after the effective date of the statute. Labor expressed concerns that the language suggested by Management would result in an unconstitutional retroactive application of a benefit change.

        In response to a request from Labor, Mr. O’Malley explained there are no cases on point and the court cases have gone either way. Mr. O’Malley discussed the law change in the 1991 agreed bill that eliminated compensation for tinnitus (i.e. ringing in the ears) in occupational hearing loss cases. The change was effective for dates of injury beginning January 1, 1992. Mr. O’Malley noted that the total disability rate increased significantly in 1992 compared to the 1991 rate.


        After further discussion and review of current statutory language in Chap. 102, the WCAC did not come to an agreement on the language change eliminating payment of medical expenses in hearing loss claims when no disability is due. The WCAC will discuss the remaining issues further, including the overall content of the agreed bill, at a future meeting.
         
      4. Adjournment:   Discussion on all agenda items concluded and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:30 p.m.

        Future meeting date to be determined.

      Future meeting date – tentatively November 29, 2007 at 10:00 a.m., location to be determined.
    .