Legislative leaders in the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives have submitted a compromise lawsuit reform proposal to Gov. Brad Henry in an effort to reach an agreement before the Legislature adjourns for the year.
The proposal was developed by physicians and business groups, and addresses the governor’s concerns about Senate Bill 507 as outlined in a recent memo from the governor’s chief negotiator, State Treasurer Scott Meacham. Henry has been under fire in Oklahoman and nationally for his veto of Senate Bill 507, a bipartisan lawsuit reform bill passed by the Legislature last month.
“The need for lawsuit reform is one of the most critical issues facing our state, so in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation we have agreed to accept the compromise proposal submitted by the medical and business communities. We encourage the governor to accept this proposal so we can take a major step toward stamping out lawsuit abuse in Oklahoma,” stated Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “The ball is now in the governor’s court.”
“Time is growing very short in the session's final days, but we're hopeful the governor will accept this important compromise," said Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah. "This bill represents a true compromise, but also achieves reform. Oklahoma desperately needs lawsuit reform if our state is going to move forward.”