California governor vetoes workers’ compensation bills

October 9, 2006

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed two bills that he said would have undermined the bipartisan workers’ compensation reforms passed by the legislature in 2004.

“When I ran for office, skyrocketing workers’ compensation costs were the poison of our economy,” he said. “Because of our historic workers’ compensation reforms, we created a positive business environment and California has added more than 600,000 jobs since I took office. I will continue to defend the workers compensation reforms to ensure the strength of California’s economy, and I pledge to veto other bills as they cross my desk that will damage our state’s economy.”

In his veto of SB 815, Gov. Schwarzenegger stated: “The reforms we enacted in 2004 have lowered costs, improved efficiencies and reduced litigation. Rates have dropped 50 percent, and employers have saved over $11 billion in lower premiums. Those savings have translated into more jobs and higher wages. One CEO told me his company is using their workers’ comp saving to improve health care coverage for his employees.

“The changes proposed by SB 815 are not based on a comprehensive analysis, and will double the cost of permanent disability benefits. As we look to build upon the economic successes of the last three years, I simply cannot support a measure that would reverse many of the economic gains now powering California’s economy.”

Specifically, Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 815 Workers’ compensation: permanent disability: schedule and AB 2942 Workers’ compensation: inpatient burn diagnoses: reimbursement review.

To view his veto message, visit http://www.reforming workerscomp.com/

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