Work comp debate gains greater sense of urgency

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Aug. 27, 2003 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In an early afternoon press conference at the capital today, Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi again reiterated the importance of immediate, comprehensive workers' compensation reform.

Joined by business leaders including Jim Sinegal, CEO & President of Costco Wholesale, Inc, as well as other business leaders, Garamendi described the workers' compensation crisis as the "most fundamental issue facing the legislature this year and that it's critical that they enact serious reforms."

It appears that many businesses are fed up with such a fraudulent system and simply cannot weather the storm. "We are not going to tolerate it anymore. For the first time ever, we are talking about leaving California", explained Singeal.

Sam Manolakas, President of Brookfield's Restaurants (four located in Sacramento), explained the seriousness of the issue. "Our workers' compensation premiums have risen from 75,000 in 1999 to 375,000 in 2003. We must see some relief or businesses will continue to leave the state and more jobs will be lost."

The press conference was a precursor to the second workers' compensation conference committee hearing today, which was more of what we saw in the opening debate, yesterday.

Today, the committee heard from various stakeholders and employers, including Willie Washington, representing CMTA.
More talks are scheduled for tomorrow, where its expected that additional testimony and debate will continue.
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