Capitol Alert

The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

AM Alert: Workers' compensation changes draw ire

08/15/2014 5:00 AM

08/14/2014 6:03 PM

Workers’ compensation is a perennial issue at the Capitol – a complicated web of competing interests that emerges again every few years to fix what one side or the other said was screwed up the last time.

The Legislature last took it up in 2012 with an overhaul of the system that promised to increase permanent disability benefits for injured workers by clamping down on administrative and medical costs for the program. It was pushed through on the last day of session after lawmakers struck a private deal with labor and business leaders, despite the fierce objections of disability lawyers and some medical care providers.

The complaints haven’t subsided in the two years since the bill passed. The Injured Workers National Network, a workers’ advocacy group, plans to protest outside the meeting of the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation, 10 a.m. at the Elihu Harris State Building in Oakland, where the commission will hear an update on the law’s implementation. Protest organizers have labeled it “pro-insurance legislation” and a “frontal attack” on injured workers and Cal/OSHA, the workplace safety protections agency.

A study released earlier this year by a Massachusetts research institute concluded that it was still too early to determine whether the changes to California’s workers’ compensation system will have their intended effect.

VIDEO: Transparency dies in the legislative appropriations committees, along with dozens of bills, Dan Walters says.

IT’S OH SO QUIET: With a water bond deal hammered out and the lengthy suspense files sorted through, it’s the calm before the storm at the Capitol. Most legislators have headed home to their districts for the weekend, gearing up for the madness ahead in the final weeks of session. In the meantime, the most action you’ll likely see around these parts is a “die-in” on the south steps, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, to celebrate National Honey Bee Day and to raise awareness about pesticides and other man-made threats to bees.

Capitol Alert staff

Amy Chance
Political editor
achance@sacbee.com
@Amy_Chance

Dan Smith
Capitol bureau chief
smith@sacbee.com
@DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller
California policy and politics
Capitol Alert editor
jmiller@sacbee.com
@jimmiller2

David Siders
Brown administration
dsiders@sacbee.com
@davidsiders

Christopher Cadelago
California politics and health care
ccadelago@sacbee.com
@ccadelago

Laurel Rosenhall
Legislature, lobbying, higher education
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
@LaurelRosenhall

Jeremy B. White
Legislature
jwhite@sacbee.com
@capitolalert

Alexei Koseff
Insider Edition editor
akoseff@sacbee.com
@akoseff

 

Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service