A Republican-backed plan to overhaul Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system has been approved by the state Senate, despite concerns that the cost savings in the bill come at the expense of those injured on the job.
The Senate voted 34-12 for the bill, mostly along party lines, although two Republicans opposed it. It now heads to the House for consideration.
The bill would transform Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation Court to an administrative system overseen by commissioners appointed by the governor.
Republican leaders say the overhaul is needed to reduce the high cost of workers’ compensation insurance in Oklahoma, but Democrats say there’s no guarantee the bill will lower costs. Opponents say the savings will come from a reduction in benefits to injured workers.