Workers' Comp Reform on Agenda for Oklahoma Senate GOP

Tulsa, OK (CompNewsNetwork) - Reform of the state's workers' compensation system is among the policy issues on the agenda for Republicans in the Oklahoma State Senate during the 2009 legislative session.

In concurrent news conferences in the State Capitol and Tulsa, Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee and Republican Caucus Chairman John Ford announced plans to work for a fairer and more business friendly tax policy, reform of the archaic and business-unfriendly legal system in Oklahoma, and to continue to improve the state's infrastructure.

Reform of Oklahoma's election system, assuring clean and fair elections while imposing term limits on statewide elected officials, is on the agenda, along with an effort to provide health care access to more Oklahomans and to continue to promote national energy independence through a vibrant Oklahoma energy industry.

"Republicans have sat in the background in forming public policy for too many years now," said Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, "but with thanks to the voters of our state, we will now have a seat at the head of the table.

Major policy initiatives proposed by Senate Republicans include:

-- Establishing a more fair and equitable tax system and responsible budgeting practices in Oklahoma government;
-- Ensuring sufficient funding for the state's infrastructure, particularly the roads and bridges which will allow the business climate to grow and prosper, and protect the safety of commuters across the state;
-- Protecting Oklahoma families through more affordable healthcare options and providing access to top quality healthcare to all Oklahomans;
-- Shoring up the Oklahoma Teacher Retirement system in order to attract and keep better teachers for generations to come, and providing more local control and greater choice for school boards and parents;
-- Improving the legal system and business climate by reforming the Workers' Compensation system and continuing the charge to reform our tort process, thereby lowering costs, creating jobs, attracting more physicians and protecting the rights of all Oklahomans.

The 2009 legislative session begins Feb. 2, and runs through the last Friday in May.

The November elections gave Republicans a majority in the State Senate for the first time in State history with a total of 26 members.
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