Farm Bureau lauds workers' comp reform
» April 19, 2004 «
The California Farm Bureau Federation is encouraged and pleased with the workers' compensation insurance reform passed by the California Legislature and signed into law today by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Farm Bureau, which had joined a coalition of groups to support a statewide ballot initiative to achieve reform, has expressed relief that lawmakers have acted.
"This is a good compromise and major step to reform the state's troubled workers' compensation insurance system," said CFBF President Bill Pauli. "We applaud the governor, the leadership of State Sen. Chuck Poochigian and others, from both sides of the aisle, who came together to pass long-needed reform." Pauli, who attended the signing ceremony in Long Beach, noted that county Farm Bureaus played a major role in collecting signatures for the initiative and in lobbying legislators for the needed reforms. CFBF participated in coalitions supporting the changes, which are critical for the state's agriculture sector.
"The legislation ensures that injured employees receive quality medical care while giving employers the tools to discourage doctor shopping and discourage lawyers from gaming the system to leverage settlements," said Pauli. "Additionally, the legislation addresses the permanent disability system, the most critical area of reform, by providing greater objectivity and consistency in permanent disability evaluations."
The legislation, SB 899 authored by Poochigian, is designed to reduce system costs while ensuring that injured workers receive quality medical care at a fair basis for compensation. It creates economic incentives to motivate injured employees to return to work as soon as possible.
Pauli praised the leadership of Gov. Schwarzenegger to make workers' compensation insurance reform a high priority and for leading a bipartisan effort to achieve reform.
"The governor worked hard to push this reform package because he knows it signals strong progress toward a better business climate," said Pauli. "The legislation will lighten the cost of doing business in California and help heal our economic climate, making our state more competitive in attracting companies and expanding job growth."
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