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Operating dual workers' compensation systems in Oklahoma could double costs, official warns

Switching from a workers' compensation court system to an administrative system in Oklahoma would about double the state's annual operating cost — at least initially, says Michael Clingman, court administrator.
by Randy Ellis Published: March 8, 2013
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But while the cost to businesses might go down, the cost to the state would go up for several years.

It cost $6.35 million to administer the state's Workers' Compensation Court system for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012. The current fiscal year's operating budget is $6.6 million.

Clingman estimated it could cost $15 million the first full year a dual system is in place, $13.5 million the second year and $13 million the third year.

Costs would gradually decline as fewer cases are decided under the old system, he said.

“Overlap of the systems would be for an indeterminate period of time,” Clingman stated.

Some old claims would remain in the judicial system for the life of the worker or the beneficiary of the deceased worker, he said.

by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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