Governor Tom Corbett today signed into law House Bill 440, a measure that expands the availability of workers' compensation coverage to small businesses.
The new law authorizes insurers, including the State Workers' Insurance Fund, or SWIF, to voluntarily provide workers' compensation coverage to sole proprietors, partners in partnerships and members of limited liability companies.
"The small-business community has waited too long for this reform. I am pleased that we are finally able to provide a crucial segment of our economy with this deserved protection," Corbett said. "This law is important progress toward making Pennsylvania the preferred state in which to start or run a business."
Specifically, Gov. Corbett said the new law will:
Extend the availability of workers' compensation coverage to sole
proprietors, partners in partnerships and members of a limited liability
Transfer $4 million from the Workers' Compensation Administration Fund to
the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund to ensure the latter's solvency; and
Have no adverse effect on the state's General Fund or SWIF, and place no
burden on the Department of Labor & Industry's Bureau of Workers'
"Sole proprietors and other small businesses need access to the peace of mind afforded by workers' compensation coverage," said Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway. "This legislation makes that protection possible, ensuring that more Pennsylvanians injured on the job can make ends meet while they recover."