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Sen. Brian Bingman again takes lead of Oklahoma Senate

BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Modified: January 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm •  Published: January 9, 2013
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He was unanimously elected Tuesday by 46 senators present on organization day — a statutorily defined day to elect leaders and rules for the 54th Legislative session. Lawmakers will reconvene on Feb. 4.

Democratic Senate Leader Sean Burrage nominated Bingman for his position in a nod to bi-partisanship.

But Burrage cautioned that Republicans should be cautious about seeking any tax cuts this year, like the income tax reduction proposed but ultimately defeated during the last session.

“I think that, that is something to be very, very careful of — reducing the state's revenue,” Burrage said.

He added that Democrats have not been included in the working group studying workers' compensation reform.

“I hope we see something early,” he said. “And I hope we see some changes to the system that are actual changes. This is workers' compensation 3.0.”

In May 2011, the governor signed Senate Bill 878 into law, a 220-page bill touted as an overhaul of the workers' compensation system.

Parts of the law were struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and the business community says Oklahoma remains one of the most expensive states when it comes to workers' compensation insurance rates.