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Arkansas' workers-comp system draws Oklahoma lawmakers

Posted: January 9, 2013 at 10:22 a.m.

— Two Republican state senators from Oklahoma are visiting Arkansas this week to study that state’s administrative workers’ compensation system.

Senate Judiciary Chairman state Sen. Anthony Sykes and state Sen. Josh Brecheen both were in Arkansas on Wednesday to learn how that state successfully lowered its workers’ compensation premium rates.

Republican state leaders in Oklahoma have said overhauling the state’s workers’ compensation system will be one of their top goals this year, and lawmakers are considering shifting from the current court-based system to an administrative model like the system in Arkansas.

Sykes says Oklahoma has one of the costliest workers’ compensation systems in the country, while Arkansas’ premium rates are below the national median. Brecheen says Oklahoma is one of only three states that use a legal system for work-related injuries.

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