Workers' Compensation Senate Roundtable ReportMonday, April 24, 2006
Workers’ Comp Alliance Co-Chairs John Sciortino and Troy Rosasco recently advocated the position of injured workers at a well attended public Roundtable in Albany sponsored by State Senator George Maziarz. Once again, Senator Maziarz proved to be an open minded fact finder seeking common ground solutions to the tough problem of Workers’ Compensation.
As stated in a previous Workers’ Compensation Alliance post, the panel consisted of representatives of injured workers and business. Joel Shufro, President of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH) made an impassioned plea to make safety on the job the number one priority. All panelists agreed this was a priority.
John Sciortino outlined the Workers’ Compensation Alliance position on not capping benefits for permanent partial disabilities (PPD’s) and raising the maximum benefit rate for the first time in 14 years. The business representatives continued to bang the drum that New York should cap PPD’s “because 42 other states do”. However, Troy Rosasco rebutted this reasoning as silly and unpersuasive. He compared such reasoning to the teenage daughter who pleas with her parents to allow her to go on an overnight ski trip “because 42 other parents do”. Perhaps the other 8 states (parents) have it right! In addition, he noted that there are no university based research studies showing that workers comp costs put New York business at a competitive disadvantage. Finally, the business panel had to concede that the manufacturing economy in New York is the best it has been in over 5 years.
All in all, it was another excellent opportunity for the Workers’ Compensation Alliance to speak for injured workers across New York State.