Gov. Fallin should veto CompSource 'privatization' bill

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: May 9, 2013
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Gov. Mary Fallin supports downsizing government to reduce both taxpayer burden and undue influence in private markets. To stay true to those goals, Fallin should veto House Bill 2201, which mutualizes CompSource, the state-run workers' compensation company.

We support privatizing CompSource; this bill does not truly do that. Here's a refresher on its flaws: Under HB 2201, political appointees would comprise a majority of CompSource board members and the company “shall not be permitted to dissolve.” CompSource would remain politically run and politically protected; there's a tacit promise of taxpayer bailouts should its business practices prove unsound.

HB 2201 maintains CompSource's status as an “insurer of last resort,” which grants it an exclusive federal tax break on its entire book of business, providing significant financial advantages over truly private competitors. CompSource would remain exempt from state rate-setting regulations for three more years, another financial advantage. It's hard to believe lawmakers who couldn't repeal that special privilege this year will actually let it lapse in three.

This bill is privatization in name only. Any reduction in state employees will simply be on paper. The taxpayers' burden will merely move off-book.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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