Oklahoma Senate OKs Workers’ Comp Reforms; Bill Goes to Governor

The Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation that makes changes to Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system that lawmakers say will preserve and strengthen reforms adopted in 2013.

An increase in benefits paid to injured workers is included among the provisions of House Bill 2367, which previously passed in the House and is headed to Gov. Kevin Stitt for his signature.

According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Julie Daniels, the Senate author of the bill, HB 2367 clarifies and secures the 2013 reforms and addressing issues that have arisen since the 2013 legislation was passed.

“Since 2013, reforms have been effective in helping injured workers receive timely treatment and get back to work. Oklahoma employers have saved hundreds of millions of dollars. Premiums are lower, fewer cases are filed and employee claims are resolved in less time with fewer appeals. Without compromising reforms all stakeholders negotiated over several months to resolve some pressing issues,” Daniels, a Republican from Bartlesville, said in a Senate media release.

According to the state Senate, highlights of HB 2367 included:

The Associated Press reported that the bill restricts the eligibility criteria for claims against the Multiple Injury Trust Fund for permanently disabled workers as part of the effort to increase the solvency of the fund.

Workers’ comp attorney Bob Burke told the AP that benefits paid to injured workers will increase by an average of 22% under the bill.

HB 2367 was approved unanimously by the Senate; Gov. Stitt is expected to sign it.

Oklahoma State Senate, Associated Press