|Office of the Chancellor / Public Affairs||
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Sacramento Bee 3-17-04
Schwarzenegger presses for workers' comp deal
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday ramped up pressure for a legislative deal to reduce workers' compensation costs, asking farmers to help him qualify a business-backed alternative for the November ballot in case lawmakers fail to reach a compromise.
"Right now, we are gathering signatures, so if you see signature gatherers at the malls all around this state, go up to those signature gatherers, sign in, put your signature down and get a clear message out there, that you want to get rid of the fraud and the abuse of workers' compensation," Schwarzenegger told hundreds gathered outside the Capitol to celebrate California Ag Day.
"It is very important that we move this forward because it is a big obstacle to our growth in this state."
If lawmakers don't reach a deal, the governor said, it would demonstrate the influence that special interests hold over individual lawmakers.
"We are doing very well with the workers' compensation reform negotiations, but let me tell you, it is tough," Schwarzenegger told the crowd. "It is very tough because this place is partially run by special interests."
Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team last week contributed $1 million to the ballot campaign to help pay for professional signature gatherers.
His remarks Tuesday followed a private, hourlong meeting with top legislative
leaders and Silicon Valley business executives who came to Sacramento
to share their goals for a workers' compensation package.
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