The Norman Transcript


December 17, 2013

Oklahoma Supreme Court passes down decision on workers’ compensation law



“It’s one thing to challenge a law on hypothetical situations,” Sparks said. “It’s quite different when you have actual circumstances that may have unconstitutional results. Like any other law, we’ll see how this plays out.”

Other local lawmakers are pleased with the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling and are convinced SB 1062 introduces necessary reform to Oklahoma’s workers’ comp system.

“This law is critically needed across our state to drive down costs and make Oklahoma more economically competitive with other states, all while continuing to protect workers injured on the job,” said Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and carried SB 1062 on the floor. “This law has already shown a significant decrease to rates in Oklahoma, and we anticipate more to come. We are encouraged by this ruling and look forward to moving ahead as soon as possible.”

The court rejected allegations that the law contains multiple subjects in violation of the Constitution’s single-subject rule that legislation address just one subject. Rather, the ruling says all sections of the law are inter-related and refer to the single subject of workers’ compensation or the way employees may ensure protection against work-related injuries.

“The new law has already shown significant workers’ compensation insurance rate decreases across the state and will continue to bring positive change to our state by ensuring Oklahoma is one of the best places to do business,” Doak said.

The current workers’ compensation system will now be phased out in favor of the new administrative system, which will go into effect in February.

“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has taken the time to consider the constitutionality and the merits of this new system,” said Speaker T.W. Shannon, author of SB 1062. “These reforms create a new and modern system that protects workers and is fair to Oklahoma businesses.

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