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Last year, Governor Gray Davis vetoed a state workers compensation bill that would have increased benefits by $2.5 billion per year, saying that "it was too high a price to pay by business and government." Recently, after signing a "small business job-killing machine" workers comp bill, the Governor stated, "Today we are providing justice for working people. It may be overdue, but it has arrived." What hypocrisy!!! We at United Small Business of California ask the Governor why business group representatives were few and far between at these negotiations, while organized labor and trial attorneys were at the table in droves. Could it be because these latter two groups provide his largest sources of campaign funds?

For the record, Governor Davis, you should be aware that the California business community pays more in workers compensation claims--$7.9 billion dollars, according to the latest figures--than the combined total of New York, Pennsylvania and Florida! (These states ranked 2-3-4 in total payments). Also for the record, Governor Davis, worker's compensation premiums by employers have jumped an incredible 77% since 1997, to almost $12 billion. Exactly what is the deal, Governor Davis?

Jack Stewart, President of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, cited an analysis by the independent workers compensation insurance ratings bureau, which estimated the cost of benefit increases at $3.5 billion annually. He also stated that this legislature would be "another nail in the coffin of California business."

Workers comp increases were a major reason California businesses left in droves in the early 1990's, moving to right-to-work states such as Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Do we have to have another major exodus before our Governor gets it right? The elections are upon us. However you vote is your business; however, please use the leverage election years bring to the voting public by letting Governor Davis know how you feel about the bottomless pit of workers compensation costs being put on your backs. He may be reached at 916-445-2841. His fax number is 916-445-4633. His e-mail address is GrayDavis@ governor.ca.gov.

P.S. We need to mobilize our members, your business neighbors, suppliers and colleagues to join our efforts to stop this type of "job killing--business--killing" legislation. Our goal is still to bring 100,000 business advocates and families together in Sacramento in 2004-2005 in the form of a "Small Business Bill of Rights" rally. Please pass this memo to others who are concerned and send us the telephone numbers and/or e-mail addresses of individuals you would like us to contact individually.

United Small Business
Proclaiming Liberty to America's Small Business
P O Box 3132 St. Charles, IL 60174 - unitedsmallbus1@comcast.net
Phone 877-791-7705 Fax 630-475-3844

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