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Williamson: Tobacco Bill Important, But Session Will Be ‘Failure’ Unless Lawsuit Reform, Comp Reform Passed

Sen. Williamson says health care is important, but meaningful lawsuit reform and workers compensation reform need to be addressed also.

Senate Republican Leader James Williamson disagreed with the assessment of Senate President Pro Tem Cal Hobson that Friday’s Senate vote on a tobacco tax bill (House Bill 2660) was the most important vote since House Bill 1017 in 1990.

“Health care is a very important issue in the state, as the level of support for HB 2660 bears out. But in my opinion, if the Legislature fails to pass a meaningful lawsuit reform bill and does not address workers compensation reform this year, the 2004 legislative session can only go down as a failure,” said Williamson, R-Tulsa.

“The high cost of health care is strongly related to lawsuit abuse, which is why meaningful lawsuit reform is critical to the future of health care in Oklahoma,” he said.

“Oklahoma is also facing an economic crisis, ranking last in the nation in job growth for two years in a row according to the FDIC. Lawsuit reform and workers comp reform will help get our economy moving again. If the Democrat legislative leadership does not allow meaningful lawsuit reform and workers comp reform to be passed this year, they will be letting down every Oklahoman,” Williamson stated.

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Senate Communications Office - (405) 521-5774