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GOP: Clock Ticking on Lawsuit Reform

Sen. Coffee says legislature has procrastinated and needs to get the tort reform bill out of committee today in order to have meaningful reform.

Special Session Likely Needed to Pass Meaningful Reform

Senate Republican leaders said Wednesday that time is running out for meaningful lawsuit reform to be passed by the Legislature this year, and that a special session may be needed to complete work.

“Republicans are very concerned with the continued delays of meetings for the conference committee, especially with so much work remaining to be done. We are running out of time this legislative session, so if we want real reform, we’re probably going to have to come back for a special session to get it done,” stated Assistant Senate GOP Leader Glenn Coffee of Oklahoma City.

“Unfortunately, it appears that Gov. Henry may be letting his trial lawyer allies run out the clock on the legislative session instead of insisting on the ‘Texas-Plus’ lawsuit reform he promised earlier this year,” he said.

Coffee said it is doubtful that Republicans will accept “watered-down” reforms such as those pushed by Henry and legislative Democrats last year.

“As far as we’re concerned, it is real reform or nothing,” said Coffee, who is a member of the lawsuit reform conference committee.

Sen. Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward, said, “The governor and the Democrat leadership appear ready to sell out the workers and the businesses of Oklahoma by dragging out this process and refusing to allow meaningful lawsuit reforms to be placed in the bill.”

Laughlin, a Republican Whip, also is a member of the conference committee.

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