The Norman Transcript

Government

December 17, 2013

Oklahoma Supreme Court passes down decision on workers’ compensation law

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s new workers’ compensation law will stand. Business leaders and a strong Republican contingent touted the decision as a victory for Oklahoma on Monday after the Oklahoma Supreme Court dismissed a constitutional challenge to Senate Bill 1062.

“I think that this is a fitting and worthy end to the workers’ compensation debate,” Norman Chamber of Commerce President John Woods said. “I think we needed to have a final answer and stability to the system. We will see reduced workers’ compensation costs and a less burdensome system, which is a win for Oklahoma.”

The court ruled that Senate Bill 1062 “is not unconstitutional as a multiple-subject bill” and further stated “the Legislature has exercised proper authority in a matter over which it has power to act by adopting a code for future execution of workers’ compensation law.”

“The ruling today is great news for economic development and jobs in the state of Oklahoma,” State Insurance Commissioner John Doak said. “Oklahoma currently has one of the highest average costs of workers’ compensation benefits in the nation, which has had an enormous impact on our state economy.”

Most Republicans supported the bill, calling it badly needed reform, but some Democrats said they feared workers would not get the relief they need following job injuries.

The legislation was signed into law May 6 by Gov. Mary Fallin. It was passed in the House by a 74-24 vote on April 24. The final vote in the Senate was 35-12 on April 30.

Voting against in the Senate were 11 Democrats and a single Republican, Sen. Harry Coates. Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, was one of the dissenting votes, as was minority leader Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore.

The legal challenge came from Coates, R-Seminole, and Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, along with the Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma.

Sparks said it will be interesting to see how the change in handling workers’ comp claims performs in the long run.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014