Oklahoma panel advances workers' comp overhaul

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma House committee has advanced the latest version of a plan to overhaul the state's workers' compensation system.

The House Judiciary Committee cleared the bill 11-4 Tuesday after two weeks of delay as Republicans hashed out the plan's details. All four Democrat members present voted against it.

The proposal would transition the state from a court to an administrative system for workers' comp. Supporters say it would save money for the state and businesses, and Republicans have made the overhaul one of their top priorities this year.

Democrats call the bill an unconstitutional attack on injured workers. Democratic Rep. Richard Morrissette of Oklahoma City called the bill horrendous. He and House Democrat Leader Scott Inman say the bill achieves its cost savings by cutting worker benefits.

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