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Oklahoma lawmakers introduce flurry of comp-related bills

Oklahoma lawmakers introduce flurry of comp-related bills

Lawmakers in Oklahoma this month have introduced 19 bills that would make changes to the state’s workers compensation code.

Among them are bills that address compensability for a worker who uses marijuana without a medical marijuana card, post-traumatic stress benefits for first responders, the balance limits on the state’s Self-insurance Guaranty Fund and fee schedules for medical providers. Other bills focus on administrative changes, such as modifying definitions under the state’s comp laws.

The measures set for consideration once the legislative session begins on Feb. 4 include:

  • S.B. 2271, sponsored by Josh West, R-Grove, which would provide coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by first responders. S.B. 836, sponsored by James Leewright, R-Bristow, would make volunteer firefighters among those eligible for mental injury benefits under existing comp law.
  • S.B. 274, sponsored by Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, which stipulates that if the state’s Self-insurance Guaranty Fund balance falls below $750,000, the state Workers’ Compensation Commission would assess each private insurer or group self-insurance association not exceeding 2% annually of actual paid losses. This would amend current law that sets the limit at $1 million and the limit of assessments at 1%.
  • H.B. 2631, sponsored by Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, which would increase the fee schedule by 3% in 2019 for physicians and hospitals providing treatment for injured workers for a period of three years.
  • S.B. 929, sponsored by Sen. Leewright, which would stipulate that a subcontractor is not considered an employee of the a prime contractor unless the claimant “later shows by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is an employee.”
  • H.B. 1124, Rep. Kevin West, R-Oklahoma City, which would clarify that an injury is not compensable if an accident was caused by marijuana used without possession of a state-issued medical marijuana license.




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