OK Speaker Shannon says lawsuit reform fix may take 26-28 bills, 6-8 days

Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, suggests that it will take 26 to 28 separate bills to reenact the lawsuit reform legislation of 2009. That stricken law is the sole focus of a special legislative session Gov. Mary Fallin has called to start Sept. 3.

The Oklahoma state Supreme Court in June struck down the omnibus tort reform legislation, originally passed four years ago with bipartisan support. The Court said the original measure dealt with multiple subjects, in violation of state constitutional requirements that legislation be limited to a single subject.

While making clear he disagrees with the state High Court’s 7-2 ruling, Rep. Shannon said legislators would be careful to break the original law into as many pieces as needed to pass judicial scrutiny. He anticipated six to eight days of legislative work, but said five might be enough. 

Speaker Shannon, speaking Tuesday at a “Coffee Club” town hall style meeting in downtown Oklahoma City, said the numbers – both of bills and days — were his “best estimate” based on conversations with staff members drafting the new proposals. He told Oklahoma Watchdog he would have a better feel for the number of bills and the time required, as early as Tuesday afternoon.  

Stay with Oklahoma Watchdog for updates today and tomorrow. 

You may contact Patrick B. McGuigan at Patrick@capitolbeatok.com and follow us on Twitter: @capitolbeatok.