The Norman Transcript


May 1, 2013

Workers’ comp. overhaul advances



“Now, they know we’re serious about getting these costs under control. We’re serious about offering certainty to small businesses, and we’re serious about attracting good manufacturing jobs back to Oklahoma. Most important of all, our legacy industries know we mean business when we ask them to grow their investment in Oklahoma’s future.”

An independent analysis by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, the nation’s largest provider of workers’ compensation data, predicted Oklahoma could see hundreds of millions of dollars saved every year as a direct result of SB 1062.

Sen. Anthony Sykes, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has worked closely with Pro Tem Bingman to develop SB 1062.  Sen. Sykes presented amendments to the measure on the floor of the Senate and highlighted the need to care for injured workers in a prompt manner.

“Oklahoma’s judicial system hasn’t done a very good job of taking care of injured workers,” said Sykes, R-Moore. “In the future, if you get hurt on the job, there won’t be a trial lawyer standing between you and your doctor. Workers will see better health outcomes, they’ll be receiving care in a timely manner, and they won’t be pitted against their employer in a court room.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done here today, and I look forward to seeing this bill’s positive impact on the future prosperity of Oklahoma.”

Under SB 1062, an administrative workers’ compensation system would be structured with three commissioners appointed by the governor, subject to Senate approval, for six-year staggered terms. The commission will then appoint administrative law judges to hear all claims for compensation.

Not everyone is happy about the bill’s forward momentum.

“This bill literally adds insult to injury,” said Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman. “From cutting weekly Temporary Total Disability maximum payments by 30 percent, when the worker is off work on doctor’s orders and can least afford to be unpaid, to limiting coverage for cumulative trauma, this ‘reform’ finds cost savings almost exclusively by cutting legitimate payments and benefits to legitimately injured workers.”

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Water Reclamation Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • 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