March 7, 2011 ›
March 7, 2011
A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board was held on Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman, 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT.
A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commission Advisory Board was held on March 7, 2011 in the Labor Committee’s Conference Room at the Legislative Office Building.
The meeting convened at 9:00 a.m. with the following Board Members present: Chairman Gardner Wright, Rocco Calo, Gregory Nokes, and Linda Passanisi. Members of the Commission: Chairman John Mastropietro, Marvin Smernoff, and Michael Petosa. Members of the public: Mark Leighton, Esq., Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. State Representative Bruce Zalaski joined the group to discuss budget issues.
Chairman Mastropietro’s Update:
Chairman Mastropietro gave an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget and how it will impact the agency. The Governor’s budget calls for several reductions in the Commission’s budget:
Discussion ensued about the processes involved in these eliminations. Mark Leighton commented that the agency is operating at well below its 1993 budget. Chairman Mastropietro emphasized that the 121 staff at the Workers’ Compensation Commission are doing a fantastic job keeping the agency running while claims and hearings have increased and staff and funding have decreased. Marvin Smernoff stressed that the closure of the entire agency would not benefit the state budget in any way since the agency’s entire income and expenses are outside the general fund. The agency is funded solely by business premiums paid for workers’ compensation insurance.
Chairman Mastropietro focused on the difficulties in planning any closures. The agency needs sufficient time and funds to close the programs. Middletown requires 120 days to redistribute claims and notify claimants, attorneys, insurance companies, etc. Rehabilitation Services needs a similar period to notify clients and sufficient funds to pay final payments to colleges, schools, and on-the-job training vendors.
Discussion was held about the current vacancies on the Advisory Board. The Governor’s Office is aware that three vacancies remain open.
There being no further business, on a motion made by Rocco Calo, seconded by Greg Nokes, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 10:00 a.m.
The next meeting will be held on April 4, 2011.