No Workers’ Compensation Conference Committee Schedule Yet

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Aug. 15, 2003 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Workers’ Compensation Conference committee staff members have been holding meetings with the various stakeholders to discuss upcoming committee meetings. Employers met with staff on August 13 for almost two hours of general discussion on workers’ compensation.

For the first twenty minutes, employers just tried to find out how the conference committee would operate and whether all of the relevant issues would be heard. However, no answers were available because the committee members have not met and discussed who will chair the committee and what process will be used to conduct the hearings. The start date could be as early as August 20 with an undetermined number of meetings through the end of August.

The most important information gained from the meeting is that the conference committee wants to look for ways to reduce workers’ compensation cost that does not include reducing injured workers benefit increases. All other issues are on the table for discussion and employers were advised to look for ways to package proposals to reduce workers’ compensation costs that would not have a draconian impact on injured workers.

CMTA urges every employer to contact their legislative representative and copy Governor Gray Davis. (CMTA will have a sample grassroots letter on its website on Monday, August 18: www.cmta.net.) It is absolutely imperative that every member of the legislature hear directly from their constituents about the extremely high cost of workers’ compensation and the negative impact it is having on their business. They need to hear how high workers’ compensation costs has forced you to layoff workers or reduce the number of hours worked, cut pay or delayed raises, reduced or eliminated health care programs, delayed contributions to pension plans, etc., in order to reduce operating costs so that you could stay in business. This would put every legislator on notice that they should influence the work of the conference committee and that you will hold them accountable for the quality of reforms they put into their report to reduce workers’ compensation costs.
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