President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 16, 2010
COFFEE WORKER’S COMP BILLS PASS COMMITTEE TODAY
First Step Toward Reforming System, Improving State’s Business
Two measures by Senate President Pro Tem Glenn
Coffee which will take giant strides toward reforming Oklahoma’s
expensive and cumbersome Worker’s Compensation system passed
in committee today.
SB 1973, the comprehensive worker’s compensation reform bill
passed the Judiciary Committee today. SJR 66, which would limit
claims for legal services for workers’ compensation benefits
also passed the same committee. SJR 66 will go before the full Senate.
A review of SB 1973’s reforms includes:
• Decreases the number of Worker’s Comp Court judges
from 10 to 8;
• Increases terms of judges from six years to eight years,
limiting to one term;
• Qualifies current judges for reappointment to one eight-year
• Creates and defines the position of Medical Director”
of the Worker’s Comp Court;
• Defines “major cause”:
• Exempts employers from liability for injuries arising outside
the course of employment.
And many other provisions.
“These votes are an important first step toward making Oklahoma’s
Worker’s Compensation system more equitable and efficient,”
“Over the past decade, we’ve seen claims reduced statewide,
but awards have increased exponentially, causing unreasonable hardships
on employers and workers both.
“Business owners are reticent to open new business or expand
existing business in this state, due to the volatile nature of awards,
and the resulting increased costs to conduct business in Oklahoma,”
he continued. “This is an important reform toward making Oklahoma
more business-friendly, while protecting the rights of injured workers.”
For more information contact:
Sen. Coffee: 405-521-5636