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California Governor Vetoes Workers' Comp Benefit Hike.

For the third year in a row, California Gov. Gray Davis has vetoed legislation that would have increased workers' compensation benefits, saying more needs to be done to contain costs.

The American Insurance Association applauded the action and said the bill would have increased benefits by $4.7 billion without improving the workers' comp process.

Davis vetoed SB 71, sponsored by state Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco, and a companion bill from the Assembly.

"I believe strongly that it is the time to increase the level of compensation benefits offered to injured workers," Davis said in his veto message to lawmakers. "It is also the time to make significant improvements to the system so it better serves both the injured workers and all Californians."

He said the Legislature should work to meet four goals: raise workers comp benefits; promote early and sustained return to work; implement cost-containment measures; and target benefit dollars to achieve the best outcome for injured workers.

The vetoed bill would have created a court administrator to supervise and evaluate the workers' comp court system and judges in California.

With about 20% of the total U.S. workers' comp market, California is getting a lot of attention as the system shows signs of serious strain since it was deregulated in 1995. Workers' comp in California represents about $6 billion in direct written premiums, and the combined ratio-- losses and expenses as a percentage of premiums--was running at about 115 in 1999 and 117 in 2000.
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Title Annotation:Gray Davis vetoes increase in workers' compensation benefits
Comment:California Governor Vetoes Workers' Comp Benefit Hike.(Gray Davis vetoes increase in workers' compensation benefits)
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Words:248
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