Bill Description: House Bill 18 would repeal a sunset provision that applies to an expansion of Idaho's worker compensation program.
Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?
In 2019, the Idaho Legislature passed Senate Bill 1028, which gave first responders worker's compensation if they have suffered from a post-traumatic stress injury on the job.
IFF rated this bill negatively, pointing out that it violated the principle of equal protection by singling out some government employees for expanded benefits under the worker's compensation program.
It was also noted that expanding the conditions that are covered could contribute to the already surging costs of the program. It is worth noting that while worker compensation costs have been declining nationally, Idaho's remain among the highest, and our trend line is worse than that of other states.
It was a good thing that the original bill contained a sunset provision, but House Bill 18 would eliminate this feature, leaving the expansion of government in place permanently. If there is not sufficient appetite to sunset the expansion of the worker compensation program, an alternative would be to extend the sunset clause to allow the gathering of additional data.
Even so, repealing the sunset provision would allow an expansion of government to remain in place, perpetuate increases in government spending, and continue singling out certain government employees for special benefits.
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