Bill Description: House Bill 590 would remove the requirement that all worker's compensation settlements first obtain the permission of the Idaho Industrial Commission. Such a requirement would stay in place for certain settlements.
Analyst Note: House Bill 590 is similar to House Bill 518, introduced earlier this year.
Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?
House Bill 590 would repeal and replace Section 72-404, Idaho Code, which concerns worker's compensation settlements. Under the existing statute, no one can receive such a settlement unless the industrial commission, a state agency, approves it.
Under the proposed new version of the section, such approval would not be required in some cases. Commission approval would still be required in "any case where one (1) or both parties are not represented by an attorney or in any case where a party is a minor child or legally incompetent person."
House Bill 518 did not include a requirement that settlements receive the commission’s approval if they involve individuals representing themselves.
Another change from House Bill 518 is that House Bill 590 adds this provision: "Either party [employee or employer] may request a review and approval of a proposed compromise or settlement agreement by the commission."
The statement of purpose for both bills acknowledges that the existing settlement process is "cumbersome" and "slow" due to the involvement of the industrial commission. While House Bill 590 is still an improvement over existing law, it is unfortunate that this bill retains a greater role for the commission than House Bill 518 does.