For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2006
Oklahoma trial lawyers have likely won their battle against Republican efforts this year to curb lawsuit abuse, a Republican state senator said Friday.
“As long as Democrats run the State Senate, the trial lawyers will run the State Senate. We need a Republican Senate majority if we are ever going to pass meaningful lawsuit reform in Oklahoma,” stated Sen. Cliff Branan, R-Oklahoma City.
Branan said Democrat President Pro Tem Mike Morgan’s decision to appoint himself and Senators Charles Laster and Stratton Taylor as Senate conferees to the conference committee on Senate Bill 1657 shows that Democrats aren’t serious about reaching a compromise on the issue. Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee, the bill’s author, is the only Republican Senate conferee.
“The Senate’s Democrat conferees are all trial lawyers who have no intention of compromising on this issue. Their only goal is to protect Oklahoma trial lawyers from meaningful lawsuit reform. They could care less about attracting jobs and lowering health care costs,” Branan said.
The Senate currently has 25 Democrats and 23 Republicans.
SB 1657 is a compromise lawsuit reform bill that was forced
into a House-Senate conference committee last week by Senate Democrats.