FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2019
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN, TX -- Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa recently filed Senate Bill 858, the Senate companion to House Bill 1521 by Representative Burrows, to address the challenges faced by first responders trying to get compensation for work-related injuries or health issues. This bill would not only specify that self-insuring political subdivisions could be sued for violation of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act, but also allow the commissioner of the Division of Workers' Compensation to assess a penalty against a political subdivision that fails to cover a filed claim.
Senator Hinojosa released the following statement:
"Our first responders have earned and deserve our support, including our firefighters who do not hesitate to enter into a burning building or home to save lives and property. Likewise, we shouldn’t turn our backs on them when their life is in danger. We must do everything possible to provide them with the life-saving healthcare they need and the benefits they have earned, especially when the health issues are caused by their line of work.
The current process used by workers' comp insurers takes too long and takes advantage of the fact that our first responders don't have the time or resources to fight a claim. They often settle for nothing to avoid a lengthy fight that in the long run only benefits the insurance companies. This bill makes the needs and benefits of our first responders the priority."