by John P. Kamin (November 12, 2018)

Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a controversial bill during his last legislative session that would have nullified a California appellate court decision by limiting apportionment to nonindustrial factors, while approving less controversial bills benefiting peace officers and anti-fraud investigators.

Brown is being ousted from his second term as the Golden State’s governor due to term limits, and will hand the reins over to incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom in January 2019. No stranger to controversy, the outgoing governor has spent most of the last few years in the public eye fighting the likes of President Donald Trump on issues like immigration, health care, and environmental issues.

In the workers’ compensation arena, Brown has had a far more conservative legacy than many lobbyists anticipated. For instance, he has regularly vetoed legislation that would attack defendants’ ability to obtain apportionment to nonindustrial factors, while strengthening anti-fraud efforts through bills like 2012’s Senate Bill 863, which have allowed the state to stay or dismiss liens related to criminal indictments.

During this last session, Brown stayed true to his reputation by vetoing SB 899. (Not to be confused with the 2005 omnibus reform bill bearing the same name.) The 2018 version of SB 899 would have hurt defendants’ ability to obtain apportionment to nonindustrial factors by barring doctors from using race, gender, or national origin in determining the percentage of permanent disability caused by factors before and after an industrial injury.