LYNDHURST – Senator Paul A. Sarlo, the Chairman of the Senate Labor Committee which initiated the reforms of the workers compensation system, today said their enactment by Governor Corzine expedites a “fairer, more efficient and more responsive program” for both workers and employers.
Senator Sarlo, D-Essex, Passaic and Bergen, credited The Star-Ledger for “exposing the need for fine-tuning and reforming a basically good system” designed to pay workers who are injured on the job while protecting the interests of business to flourish in New Jersey. He issued the following statement after Governor Corzine ceremonially signed five reform bills at Frank’s Pontiac/GMC at 325 Orient Way.
“Today, we are witnessing a positive response to changing a basically good system to make it even better. We gave workers comp judges the power they need to crack down on the bad players in the system while ensuring greater fairness to both workers and employers.
“The sanctions in this reform program should make it untenable for companies to forego workers comp coverage for their employees and it also makes it a lot more uncomfortable for workers who try to game the system.
“I commend the Star Ledger for pointing out the need to overhaul a 97-year old system and I think we’ve provided a significant tune-up to the delivery system.
“Now, proof of coverage under the workers comp system will be a condition for doing business in New Jersey.
“This package of reforms is based on good input from many sources. I would like to complement the excellent work done by leaders at the Departments of Labor and Workforce Development and Banking and Insurance, at the Workers Compensation Court, at the AFL-CIO, the State Bar Association and New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company.”
The bills, which Governor Corzine was bound legally to sign by last week, were S-1913, S-1914, S-1915, S-1916 and SCS-1917. Though he signed the bills privately to meet the deadline, the public ceremony at Frank’s was held to mark their importance to workers and insurers.