Capitol Alert: Jerry Brown vetoes public safety death benefits bill

dsiders@sacbee.comOctober 13, 2013 

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Sunday that would have extended the statute of limitations for survivors of public safety officers to file a workers' compensation claim for death benefits.

Assembly Bill 1373, by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, would have extended the time limits for survivors' claims for injuries while on duty to 480 weeks from 240 weeks in cases involving cancer, tuberculosis or blood-borne infections diseases.

Brown vetoed a broader version of the bill last year, and in vetoing an unrelated bill Saturday regarding the timeliness of sex abuse victims' claims, the Democratic governor delivered a virtual treatise on the significance of statutes of limitation.

In his veto message, Brown said the measure is "identical to the one I vetoed last year." "At that time, I outlined the information needed to properly evaluate the implications of this bill," he wrote. "I have not yet received that information."

In his veto a year ago of Assembly Bill 2451, Brown said there was "little more than anecdotal evidence" available to determine how to balance "serious fiscal constraints faced at all levels of government against our shared priority to adequately and fairly compensate the families of those public safety heroes who succumb to work-related injuries and disease."

This year's bill was backed by labor unions representing firefighters and law enforcement officers, who argued existing law fails to provide for the families of firefighters or law enforcement officers who die from a work-related disease more than five years after being diagnosed.

Opponents included the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities. They argued the bill would increase local government costs by millions of dollars.

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service