With no debate, Wisconsin Assembly lawmakers unanimously approved a bill altering the state’s worker compensation law Tuesday night.

The Republican bill allows the state to more aggressively pursue allegations of fraud and caps the amount of money an employee can receive for some injuries. It also shortens the statute of limitations for what it deems “traumatic injuries” from 12 to six years.

In addition, the measure bars employees or their dependents from getting money if the person was injured on the job because he or she violated the employer's drug or alcohol policy. Under current law, if an employee is injured because of drug or alcohol use, compensation is reduced by 15 percent.

The bill was supported labor unions and business groups, including the state AFL-CIO chapter, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Spiros, R-Marshfield, and Sen. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater. It is now sent to the Senate for consideration. 

Katelyn Ferral is The Cap Times' public affairs and investigative reporter. She joined the paper in 2015 and previously covered the energy industry for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. She's also covered state politics and government in North Carolina.

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