Bill to ease vaccine worker compensation clears Idaho panel

Idaho House

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Proposed legislation making it easier for employees to get worker compensation if they become ill after taking an employee-mandated vaccine cleared a House panel on Tuesday.

The House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee sent the measure to the full House on a voice vote.

Backers said workers are getting sick after being vaccinated for COVID-19 and some are having problems being compensated. Backers said it’s only fair that employees receive such compensation, and the bill tilts the field toward helping employees get compensated with hard-to-prove claims such as illnesses caused by vaccines.

Opponents said Idaho’s worker compensation has worked well for decades and workers getting sick from vaccines are already being compensated. They said changing the law could end up being costly for employers.

Idaho lawmakers started meeting Monday, putting forward about three dozen bills mainly dealing with COVID-19 vaccine and mask requirements.

Of those, 13 appear to have been killed by being denied a hearing in a committee or being given only an informational hearing with no chance to advance out of a committee.

Various committees were working through public testimony on additional bills on Tuesday, with potential votes by the full House if lawmakers suspend rules to speed up the process.

RELATED: Idaho joins third lawsuit challenging President Biden’s vaccine mandates

READ: Idaho lawmakers meet to take on federal vaccine requirements

READ: Idaho Gov. Brad Little gets COVID booster