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A bargaining chip in workers' compensation?

The Senate is sending its version of the workers' compensation bill to the House, with Senate President Atwater saying, "We like ours better."

The bill (SB 2072, HB903) is a fight among trial lawyers, big business, and workers. The Senate version is the one trial lawyers want. The House version retains the ban on hourly attorney fees for workers comp cases and maintains the current caps, established in 2003 but called into question by a Florida Supreme Court ruling in October.

Word is, the two chambers are using this bill, plus three bills dealing with surplus lines insurance, Citizens' insurance rates, and a proposed "free market" plan for big private insurers, as end-of-session bargaining chips.

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