AB 1309 Closing California's Workers' Compensation Loophole - What others are saying...
AB 1309 would close a loophole that allows out-of-state professional athletes to file worker's compensation claims with little employment connection to California.
Los Angeles Business Journal
Because this loophole exists, athletes use it. Terrell Davis played his entire National Football League career for the Denver Broncos – but received $199,000 in California. Moses Malone excelled for numerous out-of-state National Basketball Association teams – but was awarded $155,000 in California. Michael Irvin played for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and danced on “Dancing With the Stars” – then received $249,000 in California.
Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) has introduced AB 1309 to close this loophole and put into place clear, common-sense jurisdictional standards for when professional athletes should be able to claim benefits in our state. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce fully supports this legislation.
Los Angeles Times
"Clearly the system needs to be fixed…
What makes California unusual, though, is that it allows such claims even from those who perform minimal work in the state or for its employers. It also accepts claims from out-of-state athletes long after the one-year statute of limitations cuts off most in-state players.
Former tight end Ernie Conwell won $160,000 plus future medical benefits in California after collecting $181,000 in Louisiana and $195,000 from the NFL. Conwell never played a down for a California team."
U-T San Diego
"…California's workers' compensation laws have long been the subject of bruising fights, with employers and unions battling over the extent of benefits and medical care, the standards for determining blame for injuries and much more.
But now a clear abuse has been exposed that should yield unanimous agreement on the need for reform.
The need for this fix is obvious. What's baffling is that it's taken decades for someone in Sacramento to figure this out."
Monterey County: The Herald
"Professional athletes who played for teams in places like Denver and Kansas City or Tampa and happened to play a few of their games in California stadiums or arenas are routinely collecting California workers' compensation benefits on top of workers' comp payments in their home states.
Often, they receive lump sum payments in six figures. A study commissioned by pro sports teams found that, in the past three decades, 4,500 football, baseball, hockey, soccer and basketball players collected an average of $166,000 each. That adds up to $747 million.
…Obtaining California benefits for retired athletes has become a cottage industry for sports agents and workers' comp lawyers. On average, California receives 34 claims each month from out-of-state athletes whose schedules had included games in California or who spent time in training camp with a California team.
The Sacramento Bee
"…In an article last week, Los Angeles Times reporter Marc Lifsher described how retired athletes tap into California's generous workers' compensation system to collect six-figure settlements for cumulative trauma, even though they played only a fraction of their games in California, or may never have played here…
Just as some players cheat the game by taking performance-enhancing drugs, others are threatening the integrity of the workers' comp system, to the detriment of CA businesses and ultimately CA workers. The Legislature is confronting the issue, as it should…
The California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) is the entity that pays workers' compensation claims when workers' comp insurance companies become insolvent. California employers – not just professional sports teams – pay into (CIGA).
Since 2002, (CIGA) has paid $42 million in claims to professional athletes. The cost of processing the claims was $1 million a year…
California's system should take care of injured athletes who played the bulk of their time in California, quickly and fairly. But if they played for teams in Texas, Florida, or any other state, those states need to take responsibility."
The Fresno Bee
"Workers who are hurt on the job deserve to be compensated quickly and fairly, even if those workers are pro football, baseball, basketball, hockey or soccer players.
But fair cuts both ways, and professional athletes claiming cumulative injuries incurred during the course of their careers are abusing the California workers' compensation system.
…California cannot afford to be the bank for out-of-state athletes and their lawyers. The association's deficit hovers at $2 billion. And California employers – not just sports teams – paid $78 million toward reducing that deficit last year."
"…You've got to ask if the California system should be the benefit bank of last resort for well-paid professional out-of-state athletes who've exhausted the benefits paid by their home state or the state where they played most of their career.
…These huge claims clog the system and contribute to higher insurance bills for all California employers because more claims lead to higher rates.
While not all the athletes' claims are huge, some are shockingly so…
When someone is hurt on the job – and being a professional athlete is a job – employer-paid workers' compensation is there to help make the injured worker whole.
Fresno Cancer Patient Testifies For Affordable Chemotherapy
Bren Flowers of Fresno is fighting breast cancer for the second time in six years. She says the long battle has tapped out her insurance, and the costs of her treatment are putting a financial strain on her family.
Flowers spoke in Sacramento in support of AB219. The bill is authored by valley assemblyman Henry T. Perea and would limit the cost of oral chemotherapy for insured cancer patients.
Valley lawmakers, residents call electric rates flawed
California's electricity rate structure is badly flawed, saddling Valley residents with unfairly high costs, speakers said Friday at a legislative hearing in Fresno.
Assembly members Henry T. Perea, a Fresno Democrat, and Kristin Olsen, a Modesto Republican, held a bipartisan briefing at Fresno City College to hear from utility company officials, consumer advocates and community members about the problem and ways to solve it.
Perea wants to streamline water funding for small towns
After years of delays and confusion over state funding to fix dirty drinking water, a lawmaker says it's time to make this easier for rural San Joaquin Valley towns.
Assemblymember Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, introduced Assembly Bill 145 Friday, aimed at having the State Water Resources Control Board take over. It's a streamlining move, Perea says. The state water board already is a water policing agency.
Viewpoints: State needs to guarantee clean drinking water
A pregnant woman carries a bucket of drinking water from a neighborhood well into her home so she can make dinner.
A community waits anxiously as its only source of drinking water, a weekly truck, is delayed.
A small child drinks contaminated tap water and gets sick.
Earth Log: Lawmakers focus on fixing water
Impoverished, rural towns are stuck for years with tainted drinking water as they wade through a cryptic state process for public funding to fix the problem.
That must stop, say two frustrated lawmakers. Assembly Members Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, and Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, this week will start a streamlining effort that probably will result in several new bills next year.
Facebook holds small business boost workshop in Fresno
FRESNO, California (KFSN) -- Representatives of Facebook made a stop in Fresno Wednesday. It was all a part of the social media giant's small business boost program.
For some Valley companies, Facebook has become a way to do business and meet new customers.
One life saved; two lives honored
Reedley firefighters Nelson Alvarado and Andrew Rios helped save a heart attack victim in April, and now they’ve received an award from Assembly Member Henry T. Perea.
Reedley Fire Chief Jerry Isaak nominated Alvarado and Rios for the Hispanic Heritage Awards given by Perea. He represents Reedley in the state Assembly and he presented the award to the Reedley men last week in Fresno.
Governor signs policy to encourage High-Speed Rail Authority to buy in California
Gov. Jerry Brown signed several bills late last week to boost business and job creation in the state, including a bill to encourage the builders of a high-speed rail train to buy rail cars made in California.
“Simply put, these bills make it easier for people to do business in California,” Gov. Brown said in a news release.
Cancer drug cost equity sought by bill
Out-of-pocket costs for cancer drugs can vary dramatically depending on whether the medications are administered through pill form or intravenous infusion.
Newer oral drugs, which can be taken at home and often have fewer side effects than older drugs, can cost patients thousands of dollars a month, while receiving chemotherapy through an IV in an infusion center typically amounts to a standard co-payment for an office visit.
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0031
Tel: (916) 319-2031
Fax: (916) 319-2131
Hugh Burns State Building
2550 Mariposa Mall
Fresno, CA 93721
Tel: (559) 445-5532
Fax: (559) 445-6006