Action on Calif. Workers’ Comp Delayed

April 12, 2004

Any action on a California workers’ comp reform bill will not take place until the middle of this week, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Experts, lawyers and staffers are working as fast as they can in an attempt to transform the tentative deal reached this week into written legislation. Governor Schwarzenegger and the Big Five—Democrat and Republican leaders of the House and Senate—agreed upon an outline for workers’ comp reform, but many of the details, including rate regulation of the industry, remain to be worked out.

A hearing is set for the morning of Monday, April 12 in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. Senator Richard Alarcón (D-Van Nuys), chairman of the Committee, set the hearing in anticipation of a comprehensive workers’ comp reform package being drafted this week.

The governor returns from his Hawaiian vacation on Monday, suggesting that his office also anticipates written legislation by April 12.

Notices have been filed in the Legislature that could put a workers’ comp bill or bills before a conference committee by April 14. It is possible that lawmakers could attach the workers’ comp reforms to an unrelated bill in an effort to speed up a workers’ comp vote.

The Legislature has until April 16 to come to a solution. That is the deadline for business groups to submit approximately 598,000 signatures to qualify workers’ comp reform for a governor-supported November ballot initiative.

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