Three Job Killer Bills Face Committee Hearings Today; CalChamber Adds Another Bill to List

Three California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bills will be heard in policy committees today. In addition, CalChamber has identified another job killer bill, bringing the current total to 17.

Job killer bills with committee hearings today are:

  • AB 244 (Eggman; D-Stockton) jeopardizes access to credit for home mortgages, increasing the challenge to attract business to California because of high housing prices, by extending the homeowner’s bill of rights to others, thereby opening the door to more private rights of action. Assembly Banking and Finance Committee.
  • ACA 4 (Frazier; D-Oakley) adds complexity and uncertainty to the current tax structure and pressure to increase taxes on commercial, industrial and residential property owners by giving local governments new authority to enact special taxes, including parcel taxes, by lowering the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55%. Anticipated in the Assembly Transportation Committee.
  • SB 3 (Leno; D-San Francisco) unfairly increases employers’ costs while ignoring the economic factors or other costs of employers by increasing the minimum wage by $3.00 over the next two and a half years with automatic increases tied to inflation. Senate Appropriations Committee.

New Job Killer Bill

CalChamber has added another bill to the list, bringing the total to 17.

SB 563 (Pan; D-Sacramento) exposes injured workers to potentially inappropriate treatment, undercuts the recent workers’ compensation reforms, and significantly increases workers compensation costs by eliminating  the Utilization Review and Independent Medical Review process for many treatment requests.

Creates Significant Cost Increases

SB 563 would significantly increase system costs. The recently enacted Independent Medical Review (IMR) process was estimated to save the system nearly $400 million by increasing the efficiency of resolving medical disputes. By significantly undermining the IMR process, SB 563 threatens to eliminate potential savings from the recent reforms and drive employer costs higher in what already is the country’s most expensive workers’ compensation system.

In addition to the impact on medical treatment decisions, SB 563 would result in a great amount of litigation and undermine recent efforts to take medical decisions out of the hands of unqualified administrative law judges. SB 563 would give judges the power to determine that utilization review (UR) and IMR processes do not apply, and to override medical decisions. SB 563 would put medical decisions squarely back in the hands of judges, thereby exposing injured workers to long calendar delays for hearings and employers to higher litigation costs.