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Key Votes

HB 2155 - Authorizes an Alternative Plan to the Worker's Compensation Program - Key Vote

Oklahoma Key Votes

Kris Steele voted Yea (Concurrence Vote) on this Legislation.

Read statements Kris Steele made in this general time period.

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Legislation - Concurrence Vote Failed (House) (42-50) - (Key vote)

Title: Authorizes an Alternative Plan to the Worker's Compensation Program

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to concur with Senate amendments and pass a bill that authorizes certain employers to establish an alternative plan to the worker's compensation program, effective November 1, 2012.

Highlights:
  • Authorizes qualified employers to opt out of the worker’s compensation program and establish an alternative benefit plan for injured employees (Sec. 4).
  • Defines “qualified employer” as an employer who is subject to the Workers’ Compensation Code that opts out of the worker’s compensation program and satisfies the following requirements (Sec. 3):
    • The employer has a workers’ compensation experience modifier that is greater than 1.00 in the preceding policy year; or
    • The employer has total annual incurred claims greater than $50,000 in at least 1 of the preceding 3 policy years.
  • Defines “benefit plan” as a plan established by a qualified employer to provide medical and disability benefit payments to employees who have undergone occupational injuries (Sec. 3).
  • Requires a qualified employer who chooses to offer the alternative benefit plan to fulfill the following requirements (Sec. 4):
    • Notify in writing the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court and the Insurance Commissioner of the Oklahoma Insurance Department of the qualified employer’s alternative plan election and the date the plan will be effective; and
    • Pay an annual $1,500 fee to the Commissioner.   
  • Requires an employer who chooses to offer the alternative benefit plan instead of worker’s compensation to notify his or her employees in the following manner (Sec. 4):
    • Provide a written notice to new employees when they are hired or when the employer becomes a qualified employer; and
    • Post a written notice in conspicuous locations within the employer’s places of business to provide reasonable notice to all employees.
  • Requires the qualified employer to provide the following benefit payments under the alternative plan for temporary disability resulting from an occupational injury (Sec. 5):
    • 100 percent of occupational injury medical expenses directly related to the occupational injury; and
    • At least 80 percent of the employee’s pre-injury pay for 156 weeks and no more than 100 percent of the Oklahoma state average weekly wage.
  • Requires the qualified employer to provide the following benefit payments under the alternative plan for permanent disability resulting from an occupational injury (Sec. 5):
    • 100 percent of occupational injury medical expenses directly related to the occupational injury;
    • At least 80 percent of the employee’s pre-injury pay and no more than 100 percent of the Oklahoma state average weekly wage for 15 years or until the employee is eligible for 100 percent of Social Security benefits; and
    • 52 weeks of coverage for vocational rehabilitation services including retraining and job placement.
  • Requires the qualified employer to provide the following benefits payments under the alternative plan for an occupational injury that resulted in the death of the employee (Sec. 5):
    • 100 percent of occupational injury medical expenses directly related to the occupational injury;
    • $200,000;
    • No more than $10,000 to cover funeral costs; and
    • 80 percent of the employee’s pre-injury pay, payable to the following:
      • The surviving spouse for 260 weeks or until remarried; or
      • The employee’s children for 260 weeks or until they reach the age of 18, if there is no surviving spouse.
Legislation - Bill Passed With Amendment (Senate) (28-17) - (Key vote)

Title: Authorizes an Alternative Plan to the Worker's Compensation Program

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that authorizes certain employers to establish an alternative plan to the worker's compensation program, effective November 1, 2012.

Highlights:
  • Authorizes qualified employers to opt out of the worker’s compensation program and establish an alternative benefit plan for injured employees (Sec. 4).
  • Defines “qualified employer” as an employer who is subject to the Workers’ Compensation Code that opts out of the worker’s compensation program and satisfies the following requirements (Sec. 3):
    • The employer has a workers’ compensation experience modifier that is greater than 1.00 in the preceding policy year; or
    • The employer has total annual incurred claims greater than $50,000 in at least 1 of the preceding 3 policy years.
  • Defines “benefit plan” as a plan established by a qualified employer to provide medical and disability benefit payments to employees who have undergone occupational injuries (Sec. 3).
  • Requires a qualified employer who chooses to offer the alternative benefit plan to fulfill the following requirements (Sec. 4):
    • Notify in writing the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court and the Insurance Commissioner of the Oklahoma Insurance Department of the qualified employer’s alternative plan election and the date the plan will be effective; and
    • Pay an annual $1,500 fee to the Commissioner.   
  • Requires an employer who chooses to offer the alternative benefit plan instead of worker’s compensation to notify his or her employees in the following manner (Sec. 4):
    • Provide a written notice to new employees when they are hired or when the employer becomes a qualified employer; and
    • Post a written notice in conspicuous locations within the employer’s places of business to provide reasonable notice to all employees.
  • Requires the qualified employer to provide the following benefit payments under the alternative plan for temporary disability resulting from an occupational injury (Sec. 5):
    • 100 percent of occupational injury medical expenses directly related to the occupational injury; and
    • At least 80 percent of the employee’s pre-injury pay for 156 weeks and no more than 100 percent of the Oklahoma state average weekly wage.
  • Requires the qualified employer to provide the following benefit payments under the alternative plan for permanent disability resulting from an occupational injury (Sec. 5):
    • 100 percent of occupational injury medical expenses directly related to the occupational injury;
    • At least 80 percent of the employee’s pre-injury pay and no more than 100 percent of the Oklahoma state average weekly wage for 15 years or until the employee is eligible for 100 percent of Social Security benefits; and
    • 52 weeks of coverage for vocational rehabilitation services including retraining and job placement.
  • Requires the qualified employer to provide the following benefits payments under the alternative plan for an occupational injury that resulted in the death of the employee (Sec. 5):
    • 100 percent of occupational injury medical expenses directly related to the occupational injury;
    • $200,000;
    • No more than $10,000 to cover funeral costs; and
    • 80 percent of the employee’s pre-injury pay, payable to the following:
      • The surviving spouse for 260 weeks or until remarried; or
      • The employee’s children for 260 weeks or until they reach the age of 18, if there is no surviving spouse.
Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (70-22) -

Title: Authorizes an Alternative Plan to the Worker's Compensation Program

Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: Authorizes an Alternative Plan to the Worker's Compensation Program

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