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


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For Immediate Release: May 21, 2009

Sen. Glenn Coffee
Sen. Glenn Coffee

SENATE LEADER HAILS GOVERNOR’S SIGNING OF LAWSUIT REFORM BILL

‘History Made Today,” Coffee Says

Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee applauded Governor Henry’s signing of HB 1603 – the comprehensive lawsuit reform bill which passed both houses of the legislature by a wide margin last week.

“We’ve spent years in working toward making this day a reality,” said Coffee. “The significance of this day cannot be understated. We made history a week ago by passing this legislation in the Senate and House, and the governor’s assent to our work today is very gratifying.”

The agreement is multi-faceted, 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. HB 1603 provides additional protections to the medical and business community from frivolous suits while protecting the right to a trial by a jury of their peers for those that are truly injured.

“I’ve committed my ten years in the Senate to bringing a more favorable business climate to Oklahoma, and the ratification of HB 1603 is a giant step in the right direction,” Coffee continued.

“The spirit of cooperation exhibited by all parties in this negotiation was gratifying, and is indicative of what can be done when people negotiate in good faith toward a mutually beneficial goal,” Coffee continued.

“I can’t say enough in praise of my colleagues in the Senate who joined in this quest, and a simple thanks to Speaker Benge and Representative Dan Sullivan would never be sufficient. They are stars in this game, and deserve Most Valuable Player awards for their efforts above and beyond the call to see this bill become law,” Coffee added.

Majority Floor Leader Todd Lamb concurred it was an historic day for Oklahoma.

“This is a paramount step in making Oklahoma competitive in a global economy,” said Lamb. “States that have business-friendly climates allow for freedom and prosperity to flourish, so this is truly an exciting day in our state.”

As a small business owner and chair of the Senate Business and Labor Committee, Senator Harry Coates, R-Seminole, applauds the legislative compromise and the strength it brings to this state.

“It is important we keep a healthy business climate here in Oklahoma in order to attract new industry and promote and protect the great industry already in our state,” said Coates. “Every group wins through this legislation, including Oklahoma citizens who will still maintain adequate representation in our courts.”

Coffee said the bill was a collaborative effort in good faith negotiating between the Senate, House, Governor and Mineral Owners, with strong support from the Oklahoma State Chamber, the Oklahoma State Medical Association, the Physicians Alliance for Tort Reform, Oklahomans for Lawsuit Reform and many others.

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

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