Monday, May 6, 2013
Bill Reduces Costs to Business, Ensures Injured Workers Treated Fairly
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today signed into law Senate Bill 1062, a bill that reforms the workers’ compensation system in Oklahoma. The bill, by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker T.W. Shannon, seeks to reduce costs for businesses. It moves the state from a court-based workers’ compensation system to an administrative system, allowing for more timely processing of claims and reducing the adversarial nature of the process for both workers and employers.
“For decades, Oklahoma has had one of the most expensive and inefficient workers’ compensation systems in the country, a constant obstacle for business owners looking to expand operations or create more jobs,” Fallin said. “Senate Bill 1062 completely overhauls our flawed workers’ comp system, dramatically reducing the costs to businesses and freeing up private-sector resources that can be invested in jobs rather than lawsuits. Additionally, our reforms ensure injured workers are treated fairly and given the medical care needed to return to work. This is an important pro-growth policy that will help us attract jobs and build a stronger and more prosperous Oklahoma. My thanks go out to Pro Tem Bingman, Speaker Shannon and the entire Legislature forsending this bill to my desk.”
Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said, “Oklahoma’s runaway workers compensation court has been the number one roadblock to job growth for decades, and today, we’re finally putting the brakes on these costs. Replacing our broken workers’ compensation system is historic. The Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act sends a clear signal to job creators that Oklahoma is truly open for business. This bill is especially needed to help us control the year-to-year fluctuation of costs, and to help us compete for good manufacturing jobs while making sure injured workers are treated fairly. I want to thank the members of the state Senate for their tireless work on this important issue. Also, I want to thank the Governor and Speaker Shannon for working with me to pass a historic pro-growth initiative.”
Shannon, R-Lawton, said, “Oklahoma has finally found a modern solution to an old problem. For too long, workers and businesses have been subjected to an archaic and inefficient workers’ comp system. This monumental shift from an adversarial judicial system to an administrative system will lower costs for businesses and get injured workers the quick relief they need.”