Thanks to a House Democratic caucus that remained unified combined with support from several Republicans, HB 555 died yesterday, and was killed off for good this morning when it came up for reconsideration.
The bill, known as simply as the workers' comp bill, sought to remove the "found dead presumption" that says if a worker is found dead on company property, it's presumed they died from the work they were performing. It also forces injured workers to prove they were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they were hurt and would let employers consider preexisting conditions when making hiring decisions.
HB 555 failed 52 to 62; five Republicans joined the Democrats to defeat the measure. Through a statement, House Democrats characterized the bill's defeat as a bi-partisan coalition that formed too keep worker rights intact.
"This is a tremendous victory for Mississippi workers but our work isn't finished. Mississippians deserve to be treated with fairness and dignity when they are injured on the job and we are prepared to fight any measure that would threaten our workers," said House Minority Leader Rep. Bobby Moak, Democrat of Bogue Chitto in the news release.
Meanwhile, the Senate passed its version of the workers compensation bill earlier in the week; it's unclear what will happen when the House considers that bill.