“The issue is a complicated one and Oklahoma has made more progress on addressing the costs associated with our system than almost any state in the nation in the last decade. I don’t think I need to remind Senator Pruitt that for a number of years he championed a completely different style of reform. He told us his administrative courts plan like those adopted in Texas and Florida – if we would just take his word for it and enact it – would solve all our ills. We chose instead to move cautiously in the area of reform and have made great strides."
“Texas and Florida rank in the top six states in workers’ comp rates. Texas is literally in crisis in its workers’ compensation system.
“Now, Senator Pruitt is championing another all-inclusive panacea for worker’s compensation reform. This time, he says, he’s found the silver bullet. The mere fact that this bright young lawyer is singing a different reform tune today than he did just two years ago, is evidence that the issue is complex and that we should proceed into this arena with caution and not rush to put into law the latest, greatest cure-all de jour."
“I certainly haven’t closed the door on a meaningful discourse on workers’ compensation reform this session or on House Bill 2619 at this point. Speaker Adair and I also have a bill that’s still a viable vehicle for workers’ compensation reform legislation. The titles are off both bills and it’s still possible that later in the session we’ll be able to address this issue. If we can find ways to reduce the costs of our system while protecting the rights of injured workers, then we can continue down the path we began almost a decade ago.”