MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 3, 2013

Chamber wants to enter workers' comp suit


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The State Chamber of Oklahoma has filed a motion to intervene in a constitutional challenge against Oklahoma’s new workers’ compensation law, chamber president and CEO Fred Morgan said Thursday.

Online court records indicate the State Chamber as well as chambers of commerce in Oklahoma City and Tulsa filed a joint motion with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Thursday to intervene.

“The reforms and restructuring of Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system that were passed this past legislative session need to be defended,” Morgan said in a news release.

“For the past 20 years, workers’ compensation reform has been the number one economic development issue for Oklahoma. The change to an administrative system, and bringing our benefits back into line with surrounding states, has already seen positive results,” he said in the release.

Legislation to overhaul the state’s workers’ compensation system was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin in May. A lawsuit challenging the statute was filed last month by Sen. Harry Coates, R-Seminole, Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, and the Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma.

The motion to intervene was filed on behalf of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, Tulsa Regional Chamber, and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.

A hearing is set for Nov. 14.