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Calif. bill would recognize tribal insurance coverage

A California lawmaker is introducing a bill that would recognize tribal workers' compensation coverage.

At least two tribes have set up firms that offer cost-effective insurance coverage to businesses. But state regulators contend the tribes are flouting state law.

Assemblyman Bill Maze, a Republican from Visalia, wants to clear up the matter. His bill would establish criteria by which the state would recognize a tribe's coverage system. He represents the Fort Independence Indian Community, which is under investigation for its business practices.

Companies are turning to tribes like the Fort Independence and the Blue Lake Rancheria due to the high cost of mandatory workers' compensation. An investigation by The Palm Springs Desert Sun showed that costs have more than doubled since 2000 to $29 billion annually.

Get the Story:
Bill would allow tribes workers (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 2/20)
Law could allow tribes to offer workers' comp (The Visalia Times-Delta 2/20)

Related Stories:
Another tribal business investigated in Calif. (2/17)
Calif. agency asserts right to regulate tribe's business (01/09)
Tribe's company sues state for infringement (11/18)
Calif. officials trying to shut down tribe's business (11/03)