Dept. of Workforce Development: Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council to accept testimony Feb. 23

MADISON – The Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council is inviting public comments regarding recommended legislative changes to the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act. Comments and testimony will be taken at the council’s next meeting, set for Thursday, Feb. 23.

The hybrid public meeting at 201 E. Washington Ave. in Madison will start at 10 a.m. Attendees may also register to attend virtually using WebEx web conferencing technology.

“During the previous public hearing on Dec. 15, 2022, and the public comment period that continued until Jan. 16, 2023, the council received more than two dozen comments to consider in crafting the next agreed-upon bill of recommended legislative changes,” DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said. “We thank everyone who testified or submitted written comments, and we appreciate the council’s efforts to offer this additional opportunity on Feb. 23, 2023, for the public to share ideas and make their voices heard.”

Statutory language establishing the council, its role in advising the department, and its work to submit amendments to the Wisconsin Legislature, took effect in 1968. The council’s most recent agreed-upon bill, which received unanimous support by labor and management members of the council, cleared both chambers of the legislature and was signed by Gov. Tony Evers on April 8, 2022.

The Feb. 23 meeting also will include a presentation by Joshua Morby of Worker’s Comp Works in Wisconsin, a multimedia initiative to build awareness about the current worker’s compensation system and elements such as the role of the council in making the state’s worker’s compensation system a national model for stability and effectiveness.

Meeting Details

TIME: 10 a.m.
DATE: Feb. 23, 2023
LOCATION: 201 E. Washington Ave., Madison, Conference Room H103
ATTEND VIRTUALLY: Register via WebEx. You must register in advance to attend virtually.

About the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council

A citizen advisory council has existed since 1911 to assist DWD and the Wisconsin Legislature in amending the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act. The Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council was created by Chapter 327 Laws of 1967 (effective Feb. 18, 1968) to advise the Department and Legislature on policy matters concerning the development and administration of the worker’s compensation law. The council strives to maintain the overall stability of the workers compensation system without regard to partisan changes in the legislative or executive branches of government.

One of the main functions of the council is to recommend worker’s compensation law changes to the Legislature through the “agreed bill” process. The process begins with the council holding public hearings throughout the state where testimony is taken from all interested sources. Council members agree to support the council’s proposed changes in the Legislature and not to individually seek any changes to those proposals. Likewise, the council members traditionally agree not to support any worker’s compensation law changes which have not gone through the “agreed bill” process. By tradition the council only recommends statutory changes that pass without dissent. When the Legislature approves the council’s recommendations and forwards the bill to the governor, the bill traditionally is signed into law.

The statutes prescribe the council’s membership as follows:

  • Five employee representatives (voting members).
  • Five employer representatives (voting members).
  • Three insurer representatives (non-voting members).
  • One department representative (traditionally serves as chair).