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Major changes are coming to Oklahoma's workers' comp measure, House minority leader says

House Democrats say House Republicans have told them privately that several changes are being made to Senate Bill 1062.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: March 29, 2013

The bill calling for a major overhaul of Oklahoma's workers' compensation system is going through a major rewrite, House Minority Leader Scott Inman said Thursday.

House Democrats last week raised constitutional questions about Senate Bill 1062. The bill was scheduled to be heard earlier this week by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, but it was pulled from the agenda.

“I've spoken with several House Republicans, who will remain nameless, and asked about the progress of amendments to Senate Bill 1062, and they agreed — their owns words to me were there were multiple parts of the bill that were unconstitutional,” said Inman, D-Del City. “There were parts of the bill that completely ignored volunteer firefighters; there were parts of the bill that were onerous to people who were injured; and it's my understanding that they're going to try to make some of that better.”

Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, Judiciary Committee chairman, said earlier that SB 1062 was not heard because GOP legislative leaders were reviewing it “to make it a stronger system that protects workers and drives down costs for business.”

Changes to SB 1062 may be ready in time for next week's Judiciary Committee meeting, Inman said.

The advisory board that oversees the workers' compensation court criticized SB 1062 earlier this month and asked legislators to take another look. Board members called the legislation unworkable.

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