On February 29, 2016, Governor Scott Walker signed the Worker’s Compensation “Agreed Upon” Bill for 2016, Assembly Bill 724, into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 180. Originally introduced by Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) and Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield) in January 2016, the bill is a result of a consensus recommendation from labor and management representatives on the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Council. Most provisions in Act 180 became effective on March 2, 2016; however, certain provisions relating to judicial review and administrative review of Worker’s Compensation decisions will become effective on July 1, 2016.
A more controversial Worker’s Compensation bill, Assembly Bill 501, was also authored by Rep. Spiros. Developed outside of the Worker’s Compensation Council, the bill contained controversial provisions, including contributory negligence concepts that some believed undermine the foundation of a Worker’s Compensation program. AB 501 did not advance this session and is dead.