For Immediate Release: March 13, 2007
Senator Glenn Coffee
Lawsuit Reform Bills Pass Oklahoma Senate
State Capitol, Oklahoma City – The evenly divided
Oklahoma Senate passed three key lawsuit reform measures Tuesday
after years of blocking such measures. With the Senate tied
at 24 Republicans and 24 Democrats this year, it is the first
time Republicans have had a say in what legislation goes on
the chamber’s agenda.
“The passage of these lawsuit reform bills represents
an important day of change in the Oklahoma Senate. The Senate
finally has an opportunity to be part of the solution after
years of being part of the problem on the issue of lawsuit
reform. I am growing increasingly confident we can put together
a bipartisan majority of senators to support meaningful lawsuit
reform this year,” stated Senate Co-President
Pro Tempore Glenn
Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.
“It is critical that we take steps to reduce lawsuit
abuse in Oklahoma in order to grow our economy, attract new
jobs, and improve access to affordable, quality health care.
Lawsuits are driving up the cost of health care, insurance
and consumer goods by putting a target on the backs of Oklahoma
physicians and businesses,” stated Senate Republican
Floor Leader Owen
Senate Republican leaders said they are negotiating with Senate
Democrats and leaders of the House of Representatives to develop
a comprehensive lawsuit reform package that can win a majority
vote in both houses of the Legislature.
“We’re making positive progress in our talks,
so I am hopeful we can put at least one lawsuit reform bill
on Gov. Henry’s desk this year,” said Sen.
A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, the Senate Republicans’ chief
negotiator on lawsuit reform.
The lawsuit reform bills passed by the Oklahoma
Senate on Tuesday include:
SB 1024 by Sen. Owen
Laughlin, R-Woodward. This legislation helps teachers and
school officials maintain discipline and order by providing
lawsuit protections for educators.
SB 507 by Sen.
Cliff Branan, R-Oklahoma City. This legislation provides
protection from lawsuits to volunteers and firearms manufacturers.
824 by Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada. This legislation takes
a small step toward addressing a December decision by the
Oklahoma Supreme Court that struck down some lawsuit protections
For more information contact:
Senator Coffee's Office - (405) 521-5654