State Capitol
7:46 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Making It Private: State Workers' Compensation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation to privatize the state's nonprofit workers' compensation agency.

Post operative x-ray of a laminoplasty.
Credit neckandback / Flickr

The Senate passed the measure Tuesday by a vote of 36-11. It heads to the House, where a similar bill is pending.

The bill by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman of Sapulpa would convert CompSource Oklahoma from a state entity to a private company owned by its policyholders. Supporters say a state agency should not by competing with private insurers.

State law requires employers to have insurance to compensate injured workers. CompSource was created by the Legislature in 1933 as an insurer of last resort. It has thousands of policyholders, including state, county and municipal government agencies, and it writes 35 percent of the workers' compensation policies in the state.