WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: Gov. Davis Vetoes Bill, Citing Expense
Gov. Gray Davis has vetoed legislation that would have increased benefits for workers' compensation, the Journal of Commerce reports. Davis said the bill "increases benefits far beyond what I believe California employers can absorb without negatively impacting the economy." The bill -- sponsored by state Sen. Hilda Solis (D-Los Angeles) -- called for raising weekly payments from $140 to $230 to workers with permanent partial disabilities, which would have been phased in across six years. The measure would also have increased weekly payments to temporarily disabled workers from $490 to $602 in the year 2001. Solis said the costs of the legislation would be roughly $1.75 billion a year. The California Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, however, estimated that benefits would "soar by about $2.3 billion" annually. The California Chamber of Commerce and the Association of California Insurance Companies joined the rating bureau in opposition to the measure. Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer for the California Labor Federation, insisted that the legislation is badly needed. "We are disappointed but determined to raise the issue again next year. Injured workers will have to wait another year for these long overdue improvements," Pulaki said (Journal of Commerce, 10/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.