Okla. Governor Praises House Committee Approval of Comp Reform Legislation

April 22, 2005

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry’s office reported that his efforts to reform Oklahoma’s workers compensation system cleared another legislative hurdle, passing the House Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 846, which is based on the recommendations of a bipartisan task force of industry experts, now heads to the full House for consideration.

“I appreciate the committee’s actions and House Speaker Todd Hiett for his personal intervention on this issue,” said Gov. Henry. “I think today’s bipartisan vote shows that everyone is serious about enacting a comprehensive reform bill this year. This issue is too important to get bogged down in partisan politics.”

“The affirmative vote is also a tribute to the bipartisan task force that spent almost a year examining the workers compensation system and drafting reform recommendations. Its work has great value and should be considered as part of any final reform package.”

Two major workers comp reform measures are now before the Legislature. SB 846, which is supported by the governor, was approved by the Senate last month and is now awaiting House action. House Bill 2046, which is favored by House leaders, has already been approved by the House and a Senate committee and is awaiting floor action in the Senate.

Gov. Henry has urged legislative leaders to draft one omnibus bill that includes the best features of both measures.

“With two proposals on the table, it just makes sense to pull the best ideas from both and merge them into one piece of legislation. Both bills should be advanced to conference committee so lawmakers can start working on a compromise that brings the best possible legislation to the table.”

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