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Bills Aimed at Slashing Workers Comp Costs

Governor Davis and Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi will unveil a package of bills next week that could reduce workers compensation medical costs by $1.2 billion. Business leaders say the nation´s highest workers compensation costs are driving them out of California. Workers, however, complain of benefits that rank in the bottom third.

Garamendi says there should be tighter controls on medical and legal costs. He also wants to crack down on fraud and make the system more user friendly, allowing workers to claim benefits without a lawyer. It´s unclear when workers compensation insurance premiums could drop.

Garamendi warns that lawmakers can expect stiff and serious opposition to the reform bills.