Mo. Republicans to tackle workers' compensation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republicans who control the Missouri Legislature plan to make another attempt at revising the state's workers' compensation laws.

Republican lawmakers want to require people with occupational diseases - such as cancer caused by asbestos exposure - to file their claims for money through the workers' compensation process.

Courts currently have interpreted a 2005 Missouri law to allow claims involving occupational diseases to be filed in court. Business groups say that creates uncertainty for employers and could drive up their costs.

But attorneys who represent victims of occupational diseases say the workers' compensation system would not provide an adequate benefits for certain ailments, such as asbestos-caused cancer.

The Legislature passed a similar bill in 2012, but it was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon. Lawmakers return to work Jan. 9.

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