Okla. Senate Leader Names Workers’ Comp One of Most Important Issues for Session

January 14, 2005

Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson, D-Lexington, offered the following statement regarding reform of the state’s workers’ compensation system, which is expected in the legislative session that begins Feb. 7:

“We’ve been following the efforts of Governor Henry’s bi-partisan study group and I’m anxious to see its proposal. Just yesterday I met with more than half a dozen of Tulsa’s most prominent business leaders discussing at length the progress of the governor’s task force and their own efforts to craft bi-partisan reforms to our state’s workers’ compensation system.

“It’s clear we must do something about the escalating health care cost component of workers’ compensation along with emphasizing greater workplace safety and strengthening the role of the independent medical examiner.

“I look forward to working with Speaker Hiett and Governor Henry in drafting sensible workers’ compensation reform legislation this session and I certainly hope Speaker Hiett will offer me the opportunity to serve as the Senate author of the eventual proposal just as I will offer him the chance to be the House author of any measure I bring forward.

“I have said since last spring that I expect workers’ compensation reform to be one of the most important issues we tackle this session and I have already asked Senate Judiciary Chairman Charlie Laster to take a lead role in seeking meaningful and workable reforms.”

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