Still no word on the elusive videographer, but perhaps an even more elusive matter will be discussed tomorrow in the House. Civil lawsuit reform.
This mammoth bill has been whittled down to 100-plus page document that includes changes to the way class-action cases are heard in court. The bill also contains language to set up a task force to look at creating a fund, paid for with tax dollars, to offset the cost of damages in medical negligence cases.
This bill is the product of countless hours of discussions and negotiations on the part of Republican leaders, trial attorneys and mineral rights owners. It could have sweeping impact on how lawsuits are treated in court and how people in Oklahoma seek justice.
Republican leaders say the reforms, if passed, will help to lower the cost of medicine and bring more doctors to the state. Gov. Brad Henry, who has vetoed previous tort reform packages, has called this bill, “a strong piece of reform legislation.” If the House approves the measure, it must pass the Senate before heading to the governor’s desk.
House Bill 1603 is on the House agenda for Thursday. They’ll start hearing bills at 9 a.m., although there’s no telling when they might hear this bill. To read the bill go to: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/WebBillStatus/main.html
Put HB 1603 in the prompt for measure number and hit retrieve. Once there look across the top for Conference Committee Report. It’s long. Or you can take a look at the House CCR Summary for the Cliffs Notes version.
To listen to live audio of the debate, go to: http://www.okhouse.gov/OkhouseMedia/AudioOrArchives.aspx
- Julie Bisbee, Capitol Bureau