Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Workers' Comp Bill Slows in Oklahoma House

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Workers' Comp Bill Slows in Oklahoma House

Article excerpt

A bill that would completely rewrite the state's workers' compensation laws has yet to be assigned to a House committee as of Monday.

Senate Bill 1062 would eliminate the current court-based system and replace it with an administrative one. The measure would also reduce benefits paid to injured workers. The bill is the latest in a series of legislation designed to improve the system and lower rates.

The Legislature's Republican leadership said Oklahoma's rates were the sixth highest in the nation. During a speech to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Senate Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said the cost of workers' compensation insurance in Oklahoma was too high.

"The No. 1 deterrent to businesses in Oklahoma was, again, the workers' comp system," Bingman said in January. "Oklahoma is a very adversarial system."

Bingman said the state's current system had no incentive to return injured workers back to their jobs.

"The incentive," he said, "is to delay, delay, delay. …

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