President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 21, 2009
SENATE ADVANCES MEASURE TO SEND WORKERS COMPENSATION
REFORM TO VOTE OF PEOPLE, DESPITE GOVERNOR VETO
The Oklahoma State Senate passed a referendum late
Tuesday that will send Workers Compensation reform to Oklahoma
polls next year.
Following the Governor’s veto, Senate President
Glenn Coffee said, “We are disappointed in the Governor’s
veto, because we’ve worked very hard to bring responsible
reform and increased accountability to the Oklahoma’s Workers
Compensation system. Contrary to what the Governor said, this
legislation removes the politics from the process, and we look
forward to sending this to the people for them to have the final
Moments after Governor Henry vetoed Senate Bill
609, the Senate passed House Joint Resolution 1041 that allows
Oklahoma voters to decide the outcome of Workers Compensation
reform. HJR 1041 mirrors the provisions in SB 609, yet sends the
legislation as a referendum to the vote of the people.
Senate Bill 609 would have brought reform to a Workers
Compensation system in much need of overhaul. The legislation
recently passed both the House and Senate, yet was vetoed by Governor
Henry on Tuesday afternoon.
In his veto message, Governor Henry claimed SB 609
would politicize a non-partisan process, but Senator Clark
Jolley, author of HJR 1041, disagrees.
“Both of these pieces of legislation remove
politics from the judicial nominating process that is currently
dominated by the trial bar, by promoting a checks and balances
system our forefathers believed was better,” said Jolley.
“Upon passage of HJR 1041, Oklahomans will determine the
final verdict on workers compensation reform.”
HJR 1041 requires Senate confirmation of appointments
to the Workers Compensation Court and appellate courts. This legislation
is not unique, as Oklahoma will join numerous other states in
having systems that have Senate confirmation.
For more information contact:
Sen. Coffee's Office: 405-521-5636
Sen. Jolley's Office: 405-521-5622