We think the provisions in SB 1160 represent an important step in the ongoing effort to ensure a balanced and effective Workers’ Comp system that truly serves those for whom it was created – injured workers.
Lous Paulson is President of the California Professional Firefighters.
President, California Professional Firefighters
It’s the end of August and, like the rest of California, Sacramento is seeing temperatures rise. But over at the Capitol, legislators are sitting in the middle of a blizzard of alarmist rhetoric from the chemical industry about legislation to disclose the use of toxic flame retardants on furniture. From banner advertising to op-eds to a torrent of legislative attacks, the chemical lobby has unleashed a torrent of fear mongering about fire safety to take down SB 1019.
Over the course of a career, firefighters are relentlessly exposed to a hellish mix of toxins. These exposures put firefighters at a substantially greater risk of getting cancer — a reality documented in more than 80 peer-reviewed medical studies.
Personally, I don't need the studies. In my three decades in the fire service, I’ve seen many succumb to job-caused cancer, including my best friend. Law enforcement officers – regularly exposed to toxins and often without breathing apparatus – pay a similarly heavy price.
To us, this sacrifice is every bit as noble as that of one who dies in a fiery instant.
If there’s one thing the debate over public employees’ pensions has taught us, it’s that California needs to invest more in mathematics instruction in its public schools.
When Stanford professors who receive special interest funding for their work and self-proclaimed ”taxpayer” organizations bankrolled by anti-union groups wag their finger at an an investment system that yields 8 percent annual returns, it’s clear there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the numbers. No wonder the state budget is never balanced.