President Pro Tempore
Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 18, 2013
Sen. Brian Bingman
Senate unveils Administrative Workers’ Compensation
Senate Bill 1062 helps create a stronger Oklahoma economy, makes
Oklahoma competitive for jobs, ensures injured workers get care
Oklahoma’s adversarial workers’ compensation system
will be replaced with an administrative system under a measure unveiled
Monday in the Oklahoma state Senate. SB 1062, authored by Senate
President Pro Tempore Brian
Bingman and co-authored by Senator Anthony Sykes, will be considered
in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act seeks to reduce
the cost of workers’ compensation premiums and ensure injured
workers receive quality care in a timely manner.
Pro Tem Brian Bingman described Oklahoma’s workers’
compensation costs as a drag on Oklahoma’s economy and urged
the passage of SB 1062.
“The biggest roadblock to a stronger economy in Oklahoma is
our adversarial workers’ compensation system,” said
Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “Worse yet, our adversarial system doesn’t
do a very good job of helping injured workers get the care they
need to get healed and back to work. The system is designed to reward
trial lawyers for dragging cases out and delaying outcomes as long
Oklahoma’s current judicial workers’ compensation system
has been identified as one of the most expensive in the nation.
Recent national studies, like the Oregon Department of Consumer
and Business Services survey, cite Oklahoma as having one of the
highest premiums in the country at $2.77 for every $100 of payroll
– equating to 147% of the national median. Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s
regional neighbors boast far lower costs.
SB 1062 is modeled on a similar administrative system in the state
of Arkansas. Workers’ compensation insurance premiums under
the Arkansas administrative system were rated in the Oregon Department
of Consumer and Business Services Survey at $1.19 per $100 of payroll
– less than half the cost of premiums paid by Oklahoma businesses.
Bingman said in addition to reducing costs for business, SB 1062
will generate better outcomes for injured workers. An administrative
system will resolve cases based on an evaluation of the merits of
the case and objective medical evidence. Under the current judicial
system, employees are often pitted against their employer in litigation
proceedings characterized by dueling trial lawyers and dueling doctors.
Sykes, chair of the Judiciary Committee, learned first-hand
about the benefits of an administrative system on a fact-finding
trip to Arkansas.
“The Arkansas system is a model for states that want a system
designed to help injured workers get the care they need without
delay,” said Sykes, R-Moore. “Oklahoma’s small
business owners care about their employees, and they know they wouldn’t
be successful without them. I believe this system is the right solution
for employees, and it’s good for business.”
Under SB 1062, an administrative system would be structured with
three commissioners appointed by the Governor, subject to Senate
approval, for six-year staggered terms. The commission will then
appoint administrative law judges to hear all claims for compensation.
SB 1062 will be heard Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee
at 9:30 a.m.
Summary of SB 1062
For more information contact:
Sen. Bingman: (405) 521-5605