OKLAHOMA CITY - A bill that would represent the most dramatic reform of the state's workers' compensation system has cleared another hurdle, winning approval of the full Senate. That's according to Senate author Scott Pruitt, author of SB 1606.
"Basically, SB 1606 would change Oklahoma from an adversarial court system to an administrative system that would result in lower costs for businesses and quicker settlements for injured workers," said Senator Pruitt.
Oklahoma is one of only a handful of states that still uses the court based workers' compensation system, as opposed to an administrative system.
"By using an administrative system, we can streamline the process, making it less adversarial by helping employees and employers resolve claims before they reach a contentious stage. In addition, we're making it more accessible, as mediators will be established throughout the state, resulting in faster processing of claims and getting needed benefits to the injured workers sooner," said Senator Pruitt.
"Having an efficient, accessible system is critical to economic development efforts. We can no longer afford to take a band-aid approach to addressing the many flaws of our current system. We must return employers and employees to their rightful place, namely beneficiaries of a system as opposed to servants of the system. SB 1606 is real reform, that will ultimately benefit the entire state," commented Senator Pruitt.
The legislation now goes to the House for committee assignment and consideration.