Gov. Jerry Brown has approved the bill to revamp the state’s injured employee insurance program.
California Governor Jerry Brown has added his signature to a bill that will help to boost the workers compensation disability benefits for employees who are injured on the job, while at the same time keeping the cost of the premiums under control.
The bill was first approved by lawmakers last month, on the final day of session.
A rush was placed on the workers compensation bill’s approval after Brown, himself, gave a personal appeal for the lawmakers to give their support. The employment disability program in California has not been changed since revisions were made in 2004, under Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor at the time.
This new workers compensation legislation is also supported by business and labor groups.
In opposition to the bill were lawyers who were representing injured employees. They disagree with the legislation, which will work to decrease the number of lawsuits that occur over workers compensation claims.
Among the other changes that have been made by the measure, it is also expected that the state’s businesses will save approximately $1 billion in 2013 as a result of the bill, and that additional funds will be freed up in order to make improved payments to employees who have become disabled on the job.
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According to the Democrat governor, following his signing of the bill, “These significant reforms save hundreds of millions of dollars for California’s employers while preventing an imminent crisis of skyrocketing rates that would have hurt both injured workers and businesses.”
The workers compensation insurance program in California is estimated to be worth approximately $17 billion. The overhaul received bipartisan support which was, according to Brown, “unusual in our polarized society”.
The governor signed the workers compensation bill at a ceremony that was held in Burbank at the Walt Disney Studios, in the presence of labor, business, and legislative leaders who took part in the building of the consensus that allowed the legislation to be created in the first place. Among them were Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).