Uhl's Law awaits governor's signature

The Madison County Record May 11, 2011, 11:28am



SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation today that prohibits workers' compensation benefits for individuals who commit crimes on the job that result in their injury and the injury or death of another person.

SB 1147 was sponsored by Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton).

The legislation stems from a car accident which occurred the day after Thanksgiving in November 2007.

Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell was driving in excess of 120 miles per hour weaving in and out of heavy traffic en route to an emergency already being handled by first responders. Mitchell was talking on his cell phone, lost control of his vehicle, crossed the median and struck the vehicle occupied by Jessica and Kelli Uhl - resulting in their death.

Mitchell survived the crash and pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide. In addition, Mitchell requested workers' compensation for the incident and the claim is pending.

"The Uhl family and our community was appalled that such recklessness could be awarded with a workers' compensation claim," Haine said. "Now we are one step closer to making sure that does not happen again by enshrining this in statute."

"We simply want to ensure that no other family has to be put in this

SB 1147 was identical to HB 2607 which passed the Illinois House on April 14.

"Taxpayers should not have to pay a person who was injured while committing a crime on the state's dime," Kay said.

The bill awaits the governor's action.

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