For Immediate Release: March 12, 2003
to Additional Study
Senator Mike Morgan and Representative Dan Boren announced Wednesday that they have agreed to withdraw Senate Bill 637 from consideration during the current legislative session, citing their desire to further study the issue.
Morgan, D-Stillwater, is the
principal author of the measure. Boren, D-Seminole, is the House author.
Morgan said the intent of the bill was to "ensure an unbiased and objective Worker's Compensation Court." Under provisions of the bill, incumbent judges would not automatically be considered for reappointment by the Governor. They would first have to be nominated, along with two other persons, by the Judicial Nominating Commission.
"The bill is meant to depoliticize the process of appointing Worker's Compensation Judges. As a member of the State Chamber and someone who believes in small business, I saw this bill as pro-business," Boren said.
The State Chamber, however, opposed the measure.
"They have raised concerns that we feel warrant further discussions. We've agreed to pull the bill this year and work with the State Chamber and come back with legislation everybody can support next session," Morgan said.
Boren said he is hopeful a compromise can be worked out.
Lawmakers are currently in the
sixth week of the First Session of the 49th Oklahoma Legislature. Senate
Bill 637 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee Feb. 19 and was
scheduled to be heard by the full Senate this week. Under legislative
rules, it will remain on General Order in the Senate and could be considered
during the Second Session of the 49th Legislature in 2004.
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