July 22, 1999
Workers' comp rates are held steady; Council says reforms are still needed
Although the state Insurance Department has rejected a proposed increase in workers' compensation rates, the fact that such a large increase was requested confirms the need for further workers' comp reform, said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh.
The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board had proposed a rate increase of 12.6 percent.
Testifying July 1 at the public hearing on the proposed rate hike, Elliott Shaw, director of government affairs for The Business Council, said New York's business community fears a return to "double-digit rate hikes."
He urged adoption of Governor Pataki's proposed reforms, which closely mirror The Council's longtime reform priorities.
The Governor has proposed a cap on benefits on permanent partial disability payments and the use of objective medical guidelines to determine the level of impairment in these cases.
About 30 states already have some form of objective medical guidelines; most also have a cap on permanent partial disability benefits. Cases of permanent partial disability account for more than half of New York's workers' compensation costs.
The Governor says these reforms would spur job growth by reducing rates paid by employers an average 24.3 percent, saving employers an estimated $631.8 million.