Center for America

State Profiles

 
 

Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma Speaker Hiett Vows Fight to the End

Oklahoma Speaker of the House Todd Hiett recently joined the Center for America for an exclusive interview to stress the importance of lawsuit reform for his state's well being. Speaker Hiett commented on the priority that civil justice reform has taken in the legislature, saying "Lawsuit reform is a top agenda item for us in the House, and its going to be a tough fight that we will fight to the end."

"It's crucial to get the message out ... through the years, because of the work of leaders and legislatures that have been willing to be strong advocates so that the average working family in our state understands that there is a tie; that the amount of legal reform we achieve in Oklahoma will affect their salary next year, will affect the ability that they have to get a job, the cost of the health insurance for their family. We have to continue to get that message out there."

View Interview

Oklahoma Leadership Determined to Win Legal Reform

Oklahoma City, OK - In 2005, comprehensive legal reform was defeated by only a few votes in the Senate after the bill had been passed by the House.  Oklahoma leaders are determined to enact legal reform in 2006 and are organizing now to win. 

 

Oklahoma Lt. Governor Mary Fallin joins CFA for an exclusive video interview, and speaks frankly about the importance of reform for Oklahoma, and the nation as a whole.  Lt. Gov. Fallin shares her view on the importance of legal reform, and the effect of reform on the state's business community.

 

Fallin comments, "Every day that we do not address lawsuit reform in Oklahoma is a day that we have the potential to lose jobs, to have lesser wages...its very important that companies and employers and even employees get involved in talking about how lawsuit reform affects the bottom line."      View Interview

 

Oklahoma Sen. Coffee Calls on Business to Get Involved
In an interview with CFA, Senate Minority Leader Glenn Coffee (below) says that it is vital for legislators and other government officials to hear from business people in support of legal reform measures.    Quicktime Video   Windows Video   Senator Coffee Bio

 

In part, this is because legislators who stand up for legal reform are immediately targeted by the trial bar who then make very significant contributions to the candidates running in opposition to the legal reform advocates.  In Oklahoma, for example, where a typical House race costs about $200,000, the trial bar by itself will contribute as much as $300,000 to the candidate opposing legal reform. 

 

Therefore, when legislators stand up for legal reform, it is vital that they know that the business community will stand behind them in the upcoming election. 

 

A comprehensive legal reform bill was defeated in the Oklahoma Senate by a vote of 26 to 22 after it was passed by the Oklahoma House.  The bill will be reintroduced in the 2006 legislative session in January.

 

Workers’ Compensation Reform

Passes In Oklahoma

June 8, 2005

 

$120 Million Workers’ Compensation Reform Bill Passes Special Session -  By votes of 39-7 in the Oklahoma State Senate on June 1st and 82-9 in the House of Representatives on June 3rd, the state legislature passed SB 1X authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan and Speaker of the House Todd Hiett.  On Monday, June 6th, Governor Brad Henry signed the bill into law.

 

“The bill is expected to save up to $120,000,000 for Oklahoma employers and make our state more competitive for attracting jobs,” said Larry Nichols (right), chairman of the board of The State Chamber.  “While it may not be a perfect bill, it is a major step forward in an arena where we were lagging behind.”   Read Full Story

 

 

 
   

 

If you know of or have authored an article or report that deserves recognition among corporate and public policy leaders, please send an email to LegalReform@lawexec.com.  Original material © 2005 Center for America.

 

 

 Legal Reform Partners and Resources in Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma State Chamber

 

Resources

 

State Government Profile

 

State Tort Law Profile

 

Governor's Website

 

Senate Website

 

House Website

 

Attorney General Website