After weeks of negotiations and threats of an initiative on November-s ballot, Governor Schwarzenegger has signed California-s latest workers- compensation reform, predicting that it will result in -billions of dollars- in savings for -all parties- involved. The new law was demanded by small businesses. For most California companies-those with approximately 50, workers- comp can be a matter of life or death. Some have seen their insurance premiums jump by 80% in the past year alone. One of the features of the new law is -objective criteria.- Pain alone, for example, will no longer be sufficient to establish a claim. While that may eliminate a lot of fraud, it will also make it harder to build a case for migraines, back strains or carpal tunnel injuries, and the new law has no provisions to force insurance rates to come down. Warren Olney considers what the new law will mean to workers, small businesses and taxpayers.
- Reporter's Notebook: Earthquake Predictions
An 82-year-old seismologist from the former Soviet Union has his American colleagues paying close attention to his theory of earthquake prediction. Now a professor at UCLA, Vladimir Keilis-Borok expects a tremor of at least magnitude 6.4 somewhere in 12,000 square miles of Southern California desert by September 5. Bill Ellsworth, who heads the Earthquakes Hazards Program at the US Geological Survey, has more.
Workers Compensation Law (SB 899)
California Division of Workers Compensation
Healthcare Coverage (SB 2, 2003)
Proposition 103 (insurance rollback, 1988)
State Compensation Insurance Fund of California
LA Times article on Keilis-Borok, earthquake prediction