OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has approved a bill to overhaul the state's workers' compensation system.
The House voted 74-24 Wednesday and approved the bill after three hours of debate, with most Democrats present opposed. It now returns to the Senate for further consideration.
The lengthy bill turns Oklahoma's court-run system into an administrative system run by three commissioners. Republicans say the changes will save businesses millions of dollars while Democrats blasted the bill, saying it achieves its savings by cutting employee benefits. Rep. Richard Morrissette of Oklahoma City called the bill "a joke on injured workers."
It appears likely to pass in its current form after Gov. Mary Fallin and leaders of both the House and Senate announced Tuesday that they agreed on the bill's outlines.