Maryland HB 765

Maryland

CHAPTER NUMBER: 270

File Code: Workers' Compensation

Sponsored By:

Senator Colburn

Entitled:

Workers' Compensation - Presumptions - Lyme Disease

Synopsis:

Repealing a requirement that a paid law enforcement employee of the Department of Natural Resources demonstrate that the employee received a specified Lyme disease vaccination in order to qualify for a presumption of a compensable occupational disease under workers' compensation law; and making a conforming change.

History by Legislative Date

Senate Action

2/3

First Reading Finance

2/8

Hearing 2/21 at 1:00 p.m.

2/28

Favorable Report by Finance

3/1

Favorable Report Adopted

Second Reading Passed

3/3

Third Reading Passed (47-0)

4/3

Returned Passed

House Action

3/6

First Reading Economic Matters

3/22

Hearing 3/30 at 1:00 p.m.

4/5

Favorable Report by Economic Matters

4/1

Favorable Report Adopted

Second Reading Passed

4/2

Third Reading Passed (133-0)

Action after passage in Senate and House

5/2

Signed by the Governor Chapter 270

Bill indexed under the following Subjects:

DISEASES -see also- AIDS; RABIES

IMMUNIZATION

LAW ENFORCEMENT -see also- STATE POLICE, DEPARTMENT OF

NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

Bill affects the following Statute:

Labor and Employment

( 9-503 )

Documents:

Bill Text (Displayed in PDF Format): First Reading, Third Reading, Enrolled

Fiscal Note (Displayed in PDF Format): Available

Amendments: None offered

Roll Call Votes (Legislative dates are shown):

Senate

March 3, 2006: Third Reading Passed (47-0)

House

April 2, 2006: Third Reading Passed (133-0)

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SB 765

Department of Legislative Services

Maryland General Assembly

2006 Session

FISCAL AND POLICY NOTE

Senate Bill 765 (Senator Colburn)

Finance Economic Matters

Workers' Compensation - Presumptions - Lyme Disease

This bill repeals the requirement that a Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

employee must receive any vaccination for Lyme disease required or made available to

the employee by DNR to be eligible for the Lyme disease presumption for workers’

compensation coverage.

Fiscal Summary

State Effect: Potential insignificant increase in workers’ compensation expenditures for

a DNR employee who contracts Lyme disease who does not submit to a vaccination, if a

vaccine becomes available in the future.

Local Effect: None.

Small Business Effect: None.

Analysis

Current Law: A DNR employee that is regularly assigned in an outdoor wooded

environment who contracts Lyme disease is eligible to be covered for workers’

compensation coverage under the presumption that the disease was a result of

employment. In order to be eligible for the presumption, the employee must demonstrate

that the employee had any Lyme disease vaccination required or made available to the

employee by the department, unless it conflicts with religious beliefs and practices.

Background: Lyme disease is an infection that spreads throughout the whole body. The

disease begins when a type of bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi enters the skin when a

SB 765 / Page 2

person is bitten by an infected tick. The bacteria can spread through skin and blood to

reach parts of the body far from the tick bite. Incidences of Lyme Disease occur mainly

in the northeastern states. Maryland has the seventh highest infection rate in the nation,

with 17.4 cases per 100,000 residents.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed LYMErix in December 1998, a

vaccine to prevent Lyme disease. In January 2001, the FDA held a special session on the

safety of the vaccine to review reports that the vaccine may trigger treatment-resistant

Lyme arthritis and other chronic arthritic disorders. No conclusion were drawn that the

vaccine was unsafe; however, in the summer of 2002, GlaxoSmithKline discontinued

manufacturing the vaccine because of poor demand.

State Expenditures: The Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund (IWIF) administers the

State’s workers’ compensation program. From 2003 through 2005, IWIF received a total

of 430 claims from DNR’s park service and police employees. Of these 430 claims, only

68 were in the category that would include Lyme disease. IWIF does not track claims by

this specific disease. All 68 cases were for medical treatment only and no lost work-time

was involved.

It is assumed that any future impact on workers’ compensation expenditures would be

insignificant because: (1) there were relatively limited numbers of claims in the past

three years that potentially related to Lyme disease; (2) the bill will only increase

workers’ compensation costs if an employee refuses any eligible vaccination; and (3)

currently there is no vaccination available.

Additional Information

Prior Introductions: None.

Cross File: None.

Information Source(s): Uninsured Employers’ Fund, Workers’ Compensation

Commission, Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund, Department of Natural Resources,

Subsequent Injury Fund, Maryland Insurance Administration, Department of Legislative

Services

Fiscal Note History:

ncs/jr

First Reader - February 16, 2006

Analysis by: Karen S. Benton Direct Inquiries to:

(410) 946-5510

(301) 970-5510

SB 765 / Page 3

http://mlis.state.md.us/2006rs/fnotes/bil_0005/sb0765.pdf

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Maryland Injured Workers Insurance Fund (IWIF)

SB765, provides coverage for certain employees of the Department of Natural Resources afflicted by Lyme disease. Under current law, this is considered a compensable occupational disease only if the employee was not suffering Lyme before being assigned to work in an outdoor wooded environment and if the employee had undergone Lyme disease vaccination that had been “required or made available” by the department. This law removes the vaccination requirement and provides coverage if the employee did not have the disease before being assigned to the outdoor wooded environment.

http://www.iwif.com/html/comp/06_02_2008.shtml

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UNOFFICIAL COPY OF SENATE BILL 765

K1 6lr3161

____________________________________________________________________________________

By: Senator Colburn

Introduced and read first time: February 3, 2006

Assigned to: Finance

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Committee Report: Favorable

Senate action: Adopted

Read second time: March 1, 2006

_____________________________________________________________________________________

CHAPTER_______

1 AN ACT concerning

2 Workers' Compensation - Presumptions - Lyme Disease

3 FOR the purpose of repealing a requirement that a paid law enforcement employee of

4 the Department of Natural Resources demonstrate that the employee received a

5 certain Lyme disease vaccination in order to qualify for a presumption of a

6 compensable occupational disease under workers' compensation law; making a

7 conforming change; and generally relating to presumptions of compensability

8 under workers' compensation law.

9 BY repealing and reenacting, with amendments,

10 Article - Labor and Employment

11 Section 9-503(d)

12 Annotated Code of Maryland

13 (1999 Replacement Volume and 2005 Supplement)

14 SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF

15 MARYLAND, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows:

16 Article - Labor and Employment

17 9-503.

18 (d) [(1)] A paid law enforcement employee of the Department of Natural

19 Resources who is a covered employee under § 9-207 of this title is presumed to have

20 an occupational disease that was suffered in the line of duty and is compensable

21 under this title if the employee:

22 (i) is suffering from Lyme disease; AND

2 UNOFFICIAL COPY OF SENATE BILL 765

1 (ii) was not suffering from Lyme disease before assignment to a

2 position that regularly places the employee in an outdoor wooded environment[; and

3 (iii) except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection,

4 demonstrates that the employee had any Lyme disease vaccination required or made

5 available to the employee by the Department of Natural Resources.

6 (2) The requirement imposed by paragraph (1)(iii) of this subsection does

7 not apply to an individual who objects to immunization because it conflicts with the

8 individual's bona fide religious beliefs and practices].

9 SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect

10 October 1, 2006.

http://mlis.state.md.us/2006rs/bills/sb/sb0765t.pdf