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Oklahoma State Senate
President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-5636


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For Immediate Release: May 14, 2009

Sen. Glenn Coffee
Sen. Glenn Coffee

OKLAHOMA SETS STANDARD WITH PASSAGE
OF LANDMARK TORT REFORM
Legislature Grants Bi-Partisan Support

Oklahoma is one step closer to making history as a bipartisan lawsuit reform bill passes the State Senate Thursday with a 42-5 vote.

House Bill 1603, authored by President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, is a multi-faceted measure, including several key components of reform which will improve health care access to all Oklahomans, as well as assuring small business’ health and viability in the state.

Pro Tem Coffee comments on passage of the landmark legislation:

“No time in state history have we ever passed a bill with this magnitude of legal reform. Today Oklahoma sends a significant message to the nation that we are pro-jobs, pro-doctor, and pro-business. For far too long we were left behind in the race to attract doctors, control health care costs, and create jobs. The health, well being and safety of our citizens has always been a top priority and today we are putting Oklahoma on the map as a national leader in economic development and health care.

“I commend this Legislature and all parties involved in the negotiations in working in a collaborative, bipartisan fashion to accomplish these crucial reforms. My hope is that the Governor will join us in support of this historic legislation and bring quality lawsuit reform to Oklahoma.”

Members of the Senate Republican caucus commented on the historic nature of the day and the leadership provided on the path to get here.

“One of Oklahoma’s greatest achievements has been accomplished today through the historic efforts and cooperation made to pass this Tort Reform legislation,” said Majority Floor Leader Todd Lamb, R-Edmond. “Today’s vote in the Senate is a culmination of a ten year journey toward making Oklahoma a competitive state. Senator Coffee and his predecessors Senators Williamson, Laughlin and many others have worked hard to see this day come to fruition and I’m proud to be a part of this body today.”

“This is a great day for Oklahoma,” said Senator Clark Jolley, R-Edmond. “Passage of this historic measure will go a long way towards fostering a more pro-business environment and provide greater access to health care. Despite the personal attacks against President Pro Tempore Coffee, we overcame these obstacles and joined together in this historic moment to pass quality reform for Oklahomans.

“Oklahoma voters made a decision last fall to elect those committed to bringing much needed reforms to our state,” said Senator Mike Schulz, R-Altus. “Today we have seen the fruits of our labor and kept our promise to Oklahomans to give them the Tort Reform they called for. The task could not have been completed without the sacrifice and determination by Senator Coffee and his leadership team to bring this reform about.”

“By all coming together at the table, representatives from the Legislature and the Trial Bar and Mineral Owners have achieved a milestone for small business by passing quality Tort Reform,” said Senator Harry Coates, R-Seminole. “Thanks to the efforts of Senator Coffee and all parties involved, Oklahoma stands stronger today as we help move our state and nation forward.”

“Today Oklahoma has become a leader in this nation, as we passed an unprecedented lawsuit reform bill that will move Oklahoma forward,” said Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “Senator Coffee has championed this cause for many years and because of his leadership and the collaborative efforts of many others, we now have Tort Reform in Oklahoma.”

House Bill 1603 will now go to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.

For more information contact:
Sen. Coffee's Office - 405-521-5636

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