Senate Sends Comp Rewrite to Governor
Friday, May 24, 2019 | 406 | 0 | 26 min read
The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday gave final legislative approval to a revamp of the workers' compensation system that aims to restore some of the benefits cuts made in 2013.
“The pendulum had swung way over and now it's coming back a little bit,” said Michael Clingman, director of the Oklahoma Coalition for Workers Rights.
House Bill 2367 passed the House in March, was amended in the Senate and was revised considerably before passing the House again earlier this week. The Senate unanimously approved the revised version late Wednesday and sent it to the governor, according to the Legislature's website and local news reports.
The bill seeks to correct a number of provisions that the state Supreme Court had declared to be unconstitutional and a raw deal for workers. The measure, if signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt, who had called for some of the reforms, would raise the weekly maximum on temporary total disability from some of the lowest in the country to 100% of the state's average weekly wage.
Among other changes, the bill raises permanent disability maximum benefits slightly, supports the ailing Multiple Injury Trust Fund and extends the life of the Court of Existing Claims for another two years.