This week marked the completion of Special Session 2013 that was called by Governor Mary Fallin to address the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform Act of 2009. The bill was passed with the intention of reducing frivolous lawsuits and making the state more business-friendly. The Supreme Court ruled HB 1603 unconstitutional because it addressed more than one subject matter.
As a result, the language of the bill was broken up into smaller segments, and each topic was placed into its own legislation. We voted on that legislation this week.
Whether or not we agreed with the need and cost of a special session became a moot point once the decision was made by Governor Fallin and House and Senate leadership. When Governor Henry signed the bill in 2009, HB 1603 became law, and these are the laws Oklahoma has been operating under since signing. If a special session had not been called, the state would have to revert back to law prior to 2009.
In the end, the bills passed with a majority in a bipartisan effort. Governor Fallin has already signed the 23 bills that have to do with tort reform; most of the new bills have gone into effect upon signature of the Governor. Senate Bills 1, 2, 6 and 7 will go into effect December 8 because the House did not pass the bills’ emergency clause.
Thank you very much for reading this article. If you have comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 405.521.5576. If you wish to receive email updates and legislative news as they are released, you may visit my website at SenatorMarkAllen.com and sign up to receive them by email – or reference them by subject matter on my blog.
Until next time,
Senator Mark Allen