I was having a pleasant conversation with a reasonably well placed California DWC official the other day when the subject turned to money.
Specifically I opined that it was nonsensical to me that DWC needs to cry budget woes when the Division is completely, 100%, fully (am I making my point) not reliant what so ever on the General Fund because all of the Division's money comes from a surcharge on employer's workers' compensation policies.
In other words, DWC is not tied to any budget issues at all. They have their own money, their own funding mechanism, their own budget.
So why, I asked, is the Division starved to such an extent that it continues with furloughs, can't find the money to replace exiting personnel, lacks the ability to continue services that the employers of this state pay for, the employees of this state rely on, and are mandated by the California Constitution?
The Division must tow the line with other state agencies that ARE tied to the General Fund lest someone cry wolf and declare that the state has money that it isn't telling people about.
Politicians would prefer to continue to hamstring the state's economy be ensuring that essential services and the employees required to deliver those service - services MANDATED BY THE STATE CONSTITUTION - are not available to the public.
This was a policy implemented by the Schwarzenegger Administration, and continues under the Brown Administration, and which makes absolutely no sense, even from a political standpoint.
A GOOD POLITICIAN (is that an oxymoron?) would free the Division from this budgetary fiasco and let the Division go on to do its job and then point to the Division as an example of prudent governance, of good fiscal management, and what the other state agencies should aspire to in tackling budgetary issues.
I know when I'm getting cheated, and as an employer paying for workers' compensation coverage, something I MUST purchase or risk getting thrown into jail or worse, then I expect to get what I'm paying for. Employers of this state are getting cheated.
Employers cry about work comp fraud all the time. Yet employers in California are being defrauded by their own government.
Where's the outcry?