For the first time in eight years, worker’s compensation benefits have been
increased due to a new law sponsored by State Senator Karen Tallian, D-Ogden
Dunes, that was approved during this past legislative session and became
effective July 1, 2013.
House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1320 increases worker’s compensation payments by
providing a 20 percent increase in the maximum average weekly wage used in
calculating workers compensation benefits, and provides for graduated
percentage increases for degrees of disablement. In addition, the act allows
the Worker’s Compensation Board to review medical records and bills of
medical service providers if they are not complying with the schedule of
charges or is requiring unfair services.
As Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tallian
guided several initiatives into the state’s new two-year budget, HEA 1001.
Senate Democrats successfully advocated for several proposals, including
increased local road funding, additional resources to address back-logged
maintenance and building projects for the state’s public universities, and
an appropriation for statewide programs for community corrections.
Tallian also directed the caucus’s objection to an unprecedented expansion
of the state’s school voucher program, securing a $25 million reserve in the
event the program expands beyond initial estimates and to prevent a large
displacement of public school funding.
HEA 1159 sponsored by Sen. Tallian, would limit the liability placed on
schools that provide their facilities for community physical fitness and
exercise use. The new law will enable both public and charter schools to
open up their facilities for use by organizations, such as the American
Heart Association, seeking to offer physical fitness programs to the public.
Schools have previously been unavailable for this type of use due to
liability if program participants are injured on site.
Other new laws that Tallian guided through the legislative process include:
Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 153 establishes the requirements to allow a child
who is employed as a youth athletic program referee, umpire or official to
be exempt from the requirements of the state’s child labor law; and SEA 173
allowing the waterfront restaurants on Lake Michigan that receive local,
state or federal funding to sell alcoholic beverages in an effort to
revitalize waterfronts and attract more businesses.
Tallian represents Senate District 4 which encompasses portions of northern
Porter County and Michigan City, Coolspring and New Durham townships in
LaPorte County. For more information on Sen. Tallian, her legislative agenda
or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit