State Chamber says Governor Henry’s vetoes hurt job growth

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 17-Jun-2010

The State Chamber of Oklahoma said today (Thursday, June 17) that Gov. Brad Henry’s recent vetoes of health care, lawsuit reform and wireless industry bills will hurt job growth in Oklahoma.

Gov. Henry turned thumbs down on the bills after the state Senate and House passed them to his desk.

“Vetoing these bills will cost millions of dollars, discourage job growth and hurt everyday Oklahomans already affected by this economy,” said Fred Morgan, president and CEO of The State Chamber. “During a time when we desperately need to embrace a pro-job agenda, these vetoes send the wrong message to businesses in Oklahoma and others looking to expand here.”

The governor vetoed a bill that would have created the indemnity fund trust board to accept bids for reinsurance to cover medical providers’ medical liability claims for non-economic damages in excess of the $400,000 cap created last year.

Also vetoed was legislation that the Chamber contends would have attracted additional investment in the latest wireless communications technology. A Chamber press release sent to CapitolBeatOK said the proposal “would have been especially beneficial to businesses in rural Oklahoma.”

The governor also vetoed several health care bills that advocates contended were designed to encourage business growth. One allowed for the development of state-to-state health insurance provider compacts, allowing out-of-state as well as Oklahoma domiciles carriers to join and offer policies that do not have to comply with state benefit mandates.

Another bill would have required the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board to contract with an evidence-based medicine program in order to provide incentives for more cost-effective health care.

Finally, the governor vetoed a bill that Chamber advocates asserted would have addressed and resolved the constitutional issues that were identified by the state Supreme Court to exist in the Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act (OADA), while preserving the original legislative intent of the OADA.