Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Senate Committee Passes Measures on Insurers, Spas, Go to Senate

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Senate Committee Passes Measures on Insurers, Spas, Go to Senate

Article excerpt

Committee Monday passed two measures which modify legislation passed last year by the Oklahoma Legislature regulating property and casualty insurers and health spas.

- House Bill 1936, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Butch Hooper, D-Lawton, is designed to prevent property and casualty insurers from increasing or decreasing their rates by 25 percent based on individual rate modification plans. It passed by a vote of 10 to 0.

- House Bill 1630, sponsored by Sen. Ben Brown, D-Oklahoma City, would move the responsibility of licensing and regulating operations of health spa facilities from county clerks in the counties in which the spas operate to the administrator of the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit. It passed the committee by a vote of 8 to 3.

House Bill 1936 and House Bill 1630 both will be considered next in the Senate. However, the titles of both bills were striken in committee, which means they are slated for consideration in conference committee.

House Bill 1630 is a follow up to the Health Spa Act passed in 1987, authored by Rep. Kevin Easley, D-Tulsa.

That law culminated from the closings of health spas in the state such as International Fitness Centers. Individuals who had paid for lifetime membership contracts with some of those health spas were unable to get back the money they had paid on their contracts when the facilities closed.

Under provisions of existing law, health spas which write membership contracts for six months or longer pay a $125 registration fee and put up a $50,000 surety bond or letter of credit to insure members they would get their money back in the event the spa closes.

In House Bill 1630, Easley is attempting to raise the maximum amount for the surety bond or letter of credit from $50,000 to $70,000. …

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