For Immediate Release: September 18, 2012
For More Information Contact: Carol Chamberlain – office: (916) 319-2069, mobile: (916) 804-5355
Governor Signs Historic Reforms to Workers’ Compensation System
State Assemblyman Jose Solorio attends ceremonies for legislation he co-authored
ANAHEIM – State Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) attended the bill signing ceremonies today for SB 863 (De León, Solorio), the historic workers’ compensation legislation recently passed by the Legislature. The compromise between employers and employees adopts a substantial increase in permanent disability benefits for workers ($860 million) paid for by eliminating approximately $1 billion in waste, medical inefficiencies, and litigation, and by expediting resolutions to get an injured worker treated and back to work.
State Assemblyman Solorio (left of the Governor) stands by as Governor Jerry Brown signs SB 863 (DeLeon, Solorio), historic workers’ compensation reform, at a signing ceremony held today in San Diego.
Assemblyman Solorio presents the merits of SB 863, the historic workers’ compensation reform bill, on the Assembly Floor.
“Employers and labor came together to solve one of the most serious problems facing California – a workers’ compensation system that is far too costly for employers, provides inadequate benefits for permanently injured workers, and subjects both employers and employees to unreasonable delays in resolving medical and legal disputes in the system,” Assemblyman Solorio said. “The Governor was instrumental in getting the bill through the Legislature. He understands that in order to finance a long-overdue permanent disability benefit increase for injured workers, there must be an all-out assault on fraud, waste, and abuse in the system. That is what SB 863 accomplishes, and that’s why today’s signing ceremonies are of historic significance. I was proud to co-author the bill with Senator Kevin De León and attend today’s ceremonies.”
Assemblyman Solorio, principal co-author of AB 863, was also Chair of the Assembly Committee on Insurance during the greater part of the legislative session when arduous negotiations among all the affected parties took place, and continued lobbying for the bill up until the final vote. Restoring fairness to injured workers was a priority from the outset of this year, especially after an informational hearing Chair Solorio co-hosted with his Senate counterparts. Injured workers’ benefits had been slashed, and medical treatment delayed and/or denied since the implementation of “reforms” in 2004 by then Governor Schwarzenegger. Meanwhile, exploited loopholes in the system had driven up costs, and a pending 18 percent workers’ comp rate increase for employers — large and small — was looming.
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. was joined by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Speaker John Pérez, Assemblyman Solorio and other elected officials, and business and labor leaders at signing ceremonies in San Diego and Burbank.
State Assemblyman Jose Solorio represents the Sixty-Ninth Assembly District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana. For more information about Assemblyman Solorio, visit www.assembly.ca.gov/solorio.