Lopez Announces Workers’ Compensation Reform

Breakthrough agreement will cut costs for businesses
February 27, 2007
Citing the need to strengthen farms and small businesses in New York state, Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I – Schoharie) was pleased to announce today that state leaders have agreed to reform New York’s archaic workers’ compensation system. The agreement will cut the cost of doing business in the state while ensuring the fair treatment of workers.

“Reforming the workers’ compensation system is a step toward creating a more business-friendly state while protecting our labor force. I am pleased to have helped lead the charge on this issue and vow to continue the fight to help our upstate economy,” stated Lopez.

While benefits for injured employees will continue, costs to employers will reduce by at least 10 to 15 percent initially, with more savings to come in the future. In order to do this, Permanent Partial Disability benefits will be capped, with a safety net for severe cases.

Anti-fraud measures will also be created, and the system will become transparent with the initiation of a data-gathering method that will help the public and legislators alike analyze the system and find ways to make it more efficient.

“This agreement is great for the people of New York state and the 127th Assembly District,” Lopez added. “Strengthening the upstate economy must remain a priority. For years New York farms and businesses have paid some of the highest workers’ compensation costs in the nation, and with this critical reform we hope to reverse this trend.”