SACRAMENTO -- Advocates for low-income injured workers and the attorneys who represent them are furiously rejecting a proposed overhaul of the state's complex, costly workers' compensation insurance system.
"We oppose this last-minute rush to jam through workers' compensation legislation that further reduces disability compensation and access to medical care," said Jesse Ceniceros, president of VotersInjuredatWork.org.
The mammoth bill was negotiated behind closed doors over months by the California Labor Federation and large, self-insured employers, including Safeway Inc. and Walt Disney Co.
The 170-page bill was officially introduced in the state Legislature only late last Friday. Proponents argued that it provides about $700 million a year in new benefits to victims of on-the-job accidents. Money to pay for the boost would come out of an estimated $1 billion-plus in savings created by making the $16-billion system more efficient.