Workers’ Compensation Benefit Change Vetoed
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Tuesday vetoed a bill (SB 815) that would have increased payments to workers' compensation claimants with permanent disabilities, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/20).
The bill, by Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland), was intended to address concerns for injured workers resulting from rules the Division of Workers' Compensation developed to implement 2004 legislation to reform the state workers' compensation insurance system (Chan, Sacramento Bee, 9/20).
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2007, the bill over time would have doubled the number of weeks workers would have been eligible for workers' compensation benefits (Lawrence, AP/San Diego Union Tribune, 9/20). The changes would have been implemented over three years (Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, 9/20).
In his veto message, Schwarzenegger wrote, "The changes proposed by SB 815 are not based on a comprehensive analysis and will double the cost of permanent disability benefits" (Sacramento Bee, 9/20).
Schwarzenegger said his administration by the end of the year would complete a review of benefits paid to claimants with permanent disabilities under the rules (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/20).
The governor also vetoed workers' compensation legislation (AB 2942) by Assembly member Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood). Under the bill, the state would have reviewed rates for hospital burn diagnoses (Sacramento Bee, 9/20).