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1 Commission. Three members shall be appointed from among 2 representatives of employees; three members shall be ap3 pointed from among representatives of employers, one of 4 whom shall be a representative of insurers; and three mem5 bers shall be representatives of the general public, one of 6 whom shall be a representative of State governments. The 7 Secretary shall designate one of the public members to serve 8 as Chairman or Chairwoman. Five members of the Commis9 sion shall constitute a quorum. The terms of office of the 10 members of the Commission shall be three years, except that 11 of the members first appointed, three members shall be 12 appointed for a term of one year, three members shall be 13 appointed for a term of two years, three members shall be 14 appointed for a term of three years.
(b) The Commission shall
(1) monitor the progress of the State in making improvements in their workers' compensation laws and
in meeting the standards provided in section 4;
(2) monitor the administration of the workers'
20 compensation programs in the States;
(3) provide technical and other assistance to the
Secretary in improving the implementation of this law
and the administration of the workers' compensation program, including recommendations to the Secretary
1 of administrative or legislative action necessary to im
prove workers' compensation programs.
(c)(1) The Commission or any authorized subcommittee
4 or members thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out the 5 provisions of this Act, hold such hearings, take such testi6 mony, and sit and act at such times and places as the Com7 mission deems advisable. Any members authorized by the 8 Commission may administer oaths or affirmations to wit9 nesses appearing before the Commission or any subcommit10 tee or members thereof.
(2) Each department, agency, and instrumentality of the 12 executive branch of the Government, including any independ 13 ent agency, is authorized to furnish to the Commission, upon 14 request made by the Chairman or Chairwoman, such infor15 mation and assistance as the Commission deems necessary to 16 carry out its function under this section.
(d) Subject to such rules and regulations as may be 18 adopted by the Commission, the Chairman or Chairwoman 19 shall have the power to appoint and fix the compensation of 20 an executive director, and such additional staff personnel as 21 is deemed necessary, without regard to the provisions of title 22 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the com23 petitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chap24 ter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating 25 to classification and General Schedule pay rates, but at rates
1 not in excess of the maximum rate for GS-18 of the General
2 Schedule under section 5332 of such title, and procure tem
porary and intermittent services to the same extent as is 4 authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code. 5 The Commission is authorized to enter into contracts with 6 Federal or State agencies, private firms, institutions, and in7 dividuals for the conduct of surveys, the preparation of re8 ports, and other activities necessary to the discharge of its 9 duties.
10 (e) Members of the Commission shall receive compensa11 tion for each day they are engaged in the performance of 12 their duties as members of the Commission at the daily rate 13 prescribed for GS-18 under section 5332 of title 5, United 14 States Code, and shall be entitled to reimbursement for 15 travel, subsistence, and other necessary expenses incurred by 16 them in the performance of their duties as members of the 17 Commission.
SEC. 18. If any provisions of this Act, or the application ) of such provision to any person or circumstance, shall be held 21 invalid, the remainder of this Act, or the application of such 22 provision to persons or circumstances other than those as to 23 which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.
SEC. 19. (a) The provisions of section 4 of this Act shall
3 take effect two years after the date of enactment of this Act, 4 and shall apply to deaths or disabilities occurring thereafter. 5 (b) Except as otherwise provided, all other provisions of 6 this Act shall take effect immediately upon enactment.
The CHAIRMAN. I welcome any statement you have, Senator Javits.
Senator JAVITS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First, Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for calling these hearings and for our collaboration which continues from the time that I was the ranking member of this committee. It is deeply gratifying to me.
Senator Williams and I introduced the first bill to set Federal standards for State workers' compensation in 1973. While there has been some gratifying progress as to the 19 essential recommendations of the National Commission. We are now, according to the Department of Labor report of January 1, 1979, at approximately 63 percent compliance, which is not very good, considering the fact that the Commission itself was unanimous on these recommendations, and the Commission was composed of representatives of business, insurance, and the public. Therefore, we should have 90 or 95 percent instead of 63 percent by this time.
What has happened is that as soon as the thought that we would have Federal legislation if the States did not act proved to be illusory, the action in moving forward on the 19 essential recommendations collapsed.
So I am convinced, and I feel Senator Williams is too, that we must press forward on this bill, which to the American worker is, in my judgment, as important as ERISA and as OSHA.
Now, it is well known that those laws are highly controversial. So were civil rights laws. So were civil liberties. So was the Constitution, and so was the formation of the United States of America itself.
Sure it is controversial. It is controversial because it is urgently needed. It represents a crying, widespread illness in our society that we would allow bodies and minds to be racked and destroyed without adequate care or adequate compensation on some crazy doctrine that citizens, if they are citizens of one State, cannot have their lives and health and future preserved if they are injured in an industrial accident whereas they could in another State. It makes no sense at all.
It makes a mockery of the constitutional rights which we grant every citizen. So I intend to persevere as long as I am here. I could not have a finer associate and partner than Senator Williams in this effort.
I say this just to serve notice on the fact that I will persist, and we will persist, until something is done about the scandal which affects the American worker, and that goes for the trade unions as well as the employers.
Nobody has been entirely free of fault in pursuing this matter. Finally, I would say that one of the great problems American business faces is third party liability suits, and I think it is critically important, if we can, consistently with the fundamental objectives which relate to the health and competence of the individual worker, to find some way of not leaving that third party liability field in the jungle.
I think American business is entitled to have some certainty and some finality about third party liability suits, and if we can do it, as I say, without destroying the basic concept as it relates to the