Colorado’s Division of Workers’ Compensation got some unwanted publicity for six-figure fines it administered to several small businesses that lacked workers comp insurance last summer, and the Colorado Court of Appeals rebuffed yet another fine early this year as being so excessive that it would be a constitutional violation.

So Colorado Department of Labor and Employment leaders worked with Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada, to come up with a bill that would give division leaders discretion in the fines they currently are required to impose.

The bill would also set up a new fund, seeded by fines against bad-actor employers, that would cover costs for workers injured at a company that illegally did not offer them workers’ compensation insurance.

House Bill 1119 passed the House by a vote of 37-28 Monday, with Kraft-Tharp warning its failure could lead to more excessive and legally questionable fines.

Read more at Denver Business Journal.