Oklahoma House panel approves workers’ compensation measure

By Michael McNutt

A revised bill that would significantly change how Oklahoma handles workers hurt on the job won easy passage Tuesday by a House committee despite an hourlong attack by Democrats on the panel.

Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma, called Senate Bill 1062 morally reprehensible and disgusting. But Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said if it would become law, the bill would “be the best thing to happen to Oklahoma in years.”

The committee voted 11-4 along party lines to pass SB 1062. It now goes to the House Calendar Committee, which will decide whether it gets a hearing in the House.

GOP leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Mary Fallin have said changing the workers’ compensation system is a key priority for them to accomplish before the session ends late next month.

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