State House adopts Republican-backed workers compensation reform plan

Thursday, March 3rd 2005, 5:42 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Republican House Speaker Todd Hiett's workers compensation reform plan was approved by the state House Thursday.

Lawmakers passed the measure on a 59-to-37 vote following three hours of questions and debate. Four Democrats joined GOP House members in supporting the bill.

The measure now goes to the state Senate, where Governor Brad Henry's workers comp reform plan is awaiting action.

Hiett says his measure will reduce legal costs, increase death and disfigurement benefits for injured workers and encourage workplace safety. He says high workers compensation costs are driving employers and jobs to other states.

Opponents say the bill does little to reduce medical costs that account for more than half of workers compensation expenses.