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Zack Hutchins
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For Release — Wednesday, February 1, 2006

BUSINESS COUNCIL LAUNCHES COMP WATCH '06 TO DOCUMENT CASE FOR WORKERS' COMP REFORM; AN 'E-ADVOCACY' CAMPAIGN ALSO BEGINS

ALBANY, N.Y.—The Business Council today published the first report in Comp Watch '06, a new series of reports documenting the high costs of workers' compensation and the importance of reforms to rein in those costs.

The Council today also launched a new electronic advocacy program to enable employers to automatically send faxed notes to their elected officials in Albany urging them to support comprehensive, cost-cutting workers' comp reforms. The Council is working with local and regional chambers of commerce and business groups around the state to promote the electronic advocacy campaign to business proprietors.

The Council expects to publish 10 or more reports in the Comp Watch '06 series throughout the 2006 legislative session. Each report will be a one-page PDF file that will be sent to journalists, business leaders, state legislators, and officials in the Pataki administration, said Skye Heritage, the Council's manager of regional affairs and coordinator of the workers' comp outreach campaign.

Future reports in the series will address a range of topics, including how New York's high workers' comp costs inflate local taxes by driving up municipal employers' costs, and how key reforms can begin to rein in these costs.

The first report in the series, "Comp: Fundamentally undermining our competitiveness," notes that New York's workers' comp costs are 72 percent above the national average on a costs-per-case basis. It also cites anecdotes from both large and small employers decrying the effects of these costs on their ability to prosper.

“Other states have recovered from the recession, and are creating millions of additional new jobs,” the report says. “They’re growing at our expense. Our uncompetitive comp rates are a major reason.”

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