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The Governor’s Workers Compensation Reform measure passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today with a 5-4 vote. Republican committee members James Williamson, Todd Lamb, Brian Crain and Scott Pruitt all voted against the measure that when enacted, will reduce costs for businesses that operate in Oklahoma.
Judiciary Chairman, Senator Charlie Laster, (D-Shawnee) said passage of the bill out of committee puts the measure one step closer to bringing a comprehensive workers compensation reform package to Oklahoma businesses.
“Senate Bill 846 is a result of work from a bi-partisan task force that spent months developing a progressive workers compensation reform package that will dramatically reduce costs for business without compromising the rights of injured workers,” Laster said.
Laster, author of the bill, said the Republican members who voted against the measure today in committee put politics ahead of reform.
“For the last two years all we have heard from the Republicans is how important reforming workers compensation is for Oklahoma,” the Senator said. “Today we offered a comprehensive reform plan that was absent of politics and a plan that will move this state forward and they voted against it.”
Laster was joined by Senators Randy Bass, Mike Morgan, Bernest Cain and Richard Lerblance in voting in favor of the bill. He explained that today’s vote in committee will send Senate Bill 846 to a full vote on the Senate floor before being sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
“I urge the Legislature to move forward on this measure in a bi-partisan, cooperative spirit that was established by Governor Henry and the task force,” Laster said. “Do what is right for Oklahoma businesses and Oklahoma workers, and leave the politics out of the process.”