Workers’ Compensation Court could be relocated

Senators advanced a bill May 3 that would remove a requirement that the Workers’ Compensation Court maintain offices in the state Capitol.

LB151, introduced by Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop, would allow the Workers’ Compensation Court to maintain offices outside of the Capitol and also would allow involved parties to conduct hearings via telephone or video conference.

Lathrop said the space currently used for the court is not large enough to accommodate the lawyers and their staff. The Workers’ Compensation Court is a cash funded agency, he said, so the move would not cost the state and would open up space for other state agencies in the Capitol.

A Business and Labor Committee amendment would eliminate the requirement that compensation court judges reside in Lancaster County unless the court approves residence outside the county. The amendment also contains provisions from two bills originally introduced by Lincoln Sen. Danielle Conrad: provisions from LB238 would eliminate the court’s three judge review panel and those from LB346 would allow the court to issue contempt orders.

The amendment was adopted 35-0 and the bill advanced from general file on a 35-0 vote.

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