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Oklahoma State Senate
Co-President Pro Tempore
Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 418
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5636

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For Immediate Release: March 13, 2007

Senator Glenn Coffee
Senator Glenn Coffee

Lawsuit Reform Bills Pass Oklahoma Senate

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – The evenly divided Oklahoma Senate passed three key lawsuit reform measures Tuesday after years of blocking such measures. With the Senate tied at 24 Republicans and 24 Democrats this year, it is the first time Republicans have had a say in what legislation goes on the chamber’s agenda.

“The passage of these lawsuit reform bills represents an important day of change in the Oklahoma Senate. The Senate finally has an opportunity to be part of the solution after years of being part of the problem on the issue of lawsuit reform. I am growing increasingly confident we can put together a bipartisan majority of senators to support meaningful lawsuit reform this year,” stated Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.

“It is critical that we take steps to reduce lawsuit abuse in Oklahoma in order to grow our economy, attract new jobs, and improve access to affordable, quality health care. Lawsuits are driving up the cost of health care, insurance and consumer goods by putting a target on the backs of Oklahoma physicians and businesses,” stated Senate Republican Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward.

Senate Republican leaders said they are negotiating with Senate Democrats and leaders of the House of Representatives to develop a comprehensive lawsuit reform package that can win a majority vote in both houses of the Legislature.

“We’re making positive progress in our talks, so I am hopeful we can put at least one lawsuit reform bill on Gov. Henry’s desk this year,” said Sen. James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, the Senate Republicans’ chief negotiator on lawsuit reform.

The lawsuit reform bills passed by the Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday include:

  • SB 1024 by Sen. Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward. This legislation helps teachers and school officials maintain discipline and order by providing lawsuit protections for educators.

  • SB 507 by Sen. Cliff Branan, R-Oklahoma City. This legislation provides protection from lawsuits to volunteers and firearms manufacturers.

  • SB 824 by Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada. This legislation takes a small step toward addressing a December decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that struck down some lawsuit protections for physicians.
For more information contact:
Senator Coffee's Office - (405) 521-5654

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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