Democrats during debate on the measure earlier also cautioned that small companies would see their workers' compensation insurance rates increase because bigger companies would choose to opt out of being in the state system.
Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, called the signing of SB 1062 into law historic.
“Oklahoma's runaway workers' compensation court has been the No. 1 roadblock to job growth for decades, and today, we're finally putting the brakes on these costs,” said Bingman, author of the measure. “This bill is especially needed to help us control the year-to-year fluctuation of costs, and to help us compete for good manufacturing jobs while making sure injured workers are treated fairly.”
House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, said, Oklahoma “has finally found a modern solution to an old problem.” Oklahoma is one of two states still using a court system.
“For too long, workers and businesses have been subjected to an archaic and inefficient workers' comp system,” said Shannon, the House sponsor of the measure. “This monumental shift from an adversarial judicial system to an administrative system will lower costs for businesses and get injured workers the quick relief they need.”