Under changes proposed by the Alaska legislature, the Division of Workers’ Compensation may be merged with the Division of Labor Standards and Safety to establish a new Division of Workers’ Safety and Compensation. If this proposal becomes law, it would be the latest in a series of changes to the state’s workers compensation system.
Elected governor in November 2018, Mike Dunleavy (R) has said the state is facing a $1.6 billion budget deficit. He is proposing budgetary cuts to the tune of $1.8 billion. With more than 700 full-time state positions facing the axe, the restructuring of the Division of Workers’ Compensation may be seen as part of these changes. The new department would have an expanded remit, not only covering workers’ compensation but also investigating wages, payroll, and working conditions.