2002 No Action
2001 No Action
2000 No Action
1998 No Action
1995 No Action
July 13, 1998
TO THE HONORABLE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
In accordance with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 98-H 7202, As Amended, "An Act Relating to Labor."
This Act would allow state employees to elect temporary disability insurance. It would carve out from this blanket allowance an exception for elementary and secondary public school teachers who could only obtain such insurance through the collective bargaining process.
I have already allowed to become law in this session 98-S 2089, As Amended, "An Act Relating to Insurance Ñ Temporary Disability Insurance" which allows only unionized state employees, through the collective bargaining process, to obtain temporary disability insurance. I did not oppose that limited provision to allow certain employee groups, with the State's agreement, to have temporary disability benefits.
By contrast, the broad nature of this Act may give rise to undesirable consequences. First, allowing individuals (as opposed to employing units) to select temporary disability insurance will raise premiums. Those at greatest risk for disability will elect to be covered while those whose risk is less will forego coverage. The self-selection process will result in a disproportionately high percentage of claimants and a concomitant increase in premiums. Second, temporary disability coverage, at least as to unionized employees should be subject to collective bargaining. Third, this Act would allow state employees to both discharge their sick leave and collect temporary disability benefits, a windfall which invites abuse.
This veto should not be read to preclude mandatory temporary disability benefits for all state employees in the future. The provision of such universal benefits is an issue of public policy which needs further consideration.
For the foregoing reasons, I disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.