New York is immediately reaping the rewards of reforming Workers’ Compensation.”
The legislation, which passed overwhelmingly in the Senate and Assembly and was signed into law by Gov. Spitzer in March, increases the maximum weekly benefit for injured workers from $400 to $600 over three years, and indexes future maximum weekly benefits at two-thirds of the average weekly wage.
It also imposes term limits on payments for “permanent partial disabilities” – which currently are unlimited – while continuing unlimited coverage of medical services, and creates tougher civil and criminal sanctions against employers who fail to secure or obtain workers compensation coverage for their employees.
Business and labor groups worked with the Governor and lawmakers by providing much-needed input during the bill-drafting process.
“Politics is about the art of the possible, and by bringing together all sides to work for the public good, it was possible to bring about a Workers’ Compensation system that benefits workers and employers,” Senator Dilan said.
“This was a system many thought to be beyond repair,” he added, “but my colleagues and I believed otherwise. You would be surprised to see how much can get done when everyone has that attitude.”
Senator Dilan said Workers’ Compensation reform is just the beginning of efforts to keep companies and jobs in New York.
“There are many other things the Senate can do to make our state more business friendly while creating new jobs,” he said. “Article 10 legislation, a shovel-ready site program for brownfields, and a push for Empire Zone and IDA reforms are things that, if enacted, could dramatically help our upstate cities. And what’s good for them will be good for downstate.”