Podcast: ND Insurance Commish Says Worker’s Comp Ballot Measure “Not Something I’m Asking For”

ND Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread

Yesterday I interviewed state Rep. Marvin Nelson about a proposed ballot measure he’s backing which would expand worker’s compensation insurance to workers like volunteer firefighters and mental maladies related to the workplace. It would also move Workforce Safety & Insurance, the state-owned insurance company which has a monopoly on worker’s compensation insurance in North Dakota, under the Insurance Department.

Today I had on Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread on the radio show to discuss these proposed changes.

“I’m a little disappointed Rep. Nelson hasn’t even reached out to our office,” he told me, adding that it seems like Nelson is “doing this on his own.”

“I’m a little disappointed Rep. Nelson hasn’t even reached out to our office,” he told me, adding that it seems like Nelson is “doing this on his own.”

There’s no text yet for Nelson’s measure – it hasn’t been submitted to the Secretary of State yet to be approved for circulation – but wondered in what manner WSI would be placed under his office. Would it be regulated by the Insurance Commissioner? Or would the company be run by the Insurance Commissioner?

The latter situation might create a conflict of interest, given that the Insurance Commissioner would then be a public official charged with both regulating insurance companies and running one.

“I would be very uncomfortable with that situation,” Godfread said.

Further, of the whole measure, “it’s not something I’m asking for,” he said.

Here’s audio of today’s show, where I also discussed property taxes and the propensity of local officials to pass the buck for tax hikes to the state. If you want to get podcasts of the radio show delivered straight to your various devices, subscribe to the podcast.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from 1-2pm weekdays.

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