Chesterton Tribune



Workers comp, education and budget intiatives by Sen. Tallian go into law

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For the first time in eight years, worker’s compensation benefits have been increased due to a new law sponsored by State Senator Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, that was approved during this past legislative session and became effective July 1, 2013.

House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1320 increases worker’s compensation payments by providing a 20 percent increase in the maximum average weekly wage used in calculating workers compensation benefits, and provides for graduated percentage increases for degrees of disablement. In addition, the act allows the Worker’s Compensation Board to review medical records and bills of medical service providers if they are not complying with the schedule of charges or is requiring unfair services.

As Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tallian guided several initiatives into the state’s new two-year budget, HEA 1001. Senate Democrats successfully advocated for several proposals, including increased local road funding, additional resources to address back-logged maintenance and building projects for the state’s public universities, and an appropriation for statewide programs for community corrections.

Tallian also directed the caucus’s objection to an unprecedented expansion of the state’s school voucher program, securing a $25 million reserve in the event the program expands beyond initial estimates and to prevent a large displacement of public school funding.

HEA 1159 sponsored by Sen. Tallian, would limit the liability placed on schools that provide their facilities for community physical fitness and exercise use. The new law will enable both public and charter schools to open up their facilities for use by organizations, such as the American Heart Association, seeking to offer physical fitness programs to the public. Schools have previously been unavailable for this type of use due to liability if program participants are injured on site.

Other new laws that Tallian guided through the legislative process include: Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 153 establishes the requirements to allow a child who is employed as a youth athletic program referee, umpire or official to be exempt from the requirements of the state’s child labor law; and SEA 173 allowing the waterfront restaurants on Lake Michigan that receive local, state or federal funding to sell alcoholic beverages in an effort to revitalize waterfronts and attract more businesses.

Tallian represents Senate District 4 which encompasses portions of northern Porter County and Michigan City, Coolspring and New Durham townships in LaPorte County. For more information on Sen. Tallian, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit


Posted 7/15/2013