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Valley Public Radio Staff
Government & Politics
Tue September 18, 2012
Governor Brown Signs Workers' Compensation Overhaul Bill
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that makes changes to the state’s worker’s compensation system. The changes were part of a compromise between labor unions and businesses.
The law is designed to increase benefits to injured workers while reducing workers’ compensation costs for employers. It passed the legislature on a bipartisan vote despite some lawmakers’ complaints that there was little time to discuss it.
Governor Brown made two stops to tout the new law; one in San Diego and the other in Burbank. He says changes are needed because the cost of insurance has risen from $15 billion to $19 billion in the past two years. It’s estimated to increase an additional 12 percent in the coming months.
The Governor says the law will increase permanent disability benefits to workers by 30-percent while decreasing insurance losses to businesses by close to one billion dollars.
Some attorneys who represent injured workers say they don’t like the new law. They say it will limit litigation, which could mean fewer benefits for their clients.