Governor Calls Lawmakers Back to Take Up Legal Reform
Gov. Mary Fallin announced she’ll call lawmakers back to Oklahoma City on Sept. 3 for a special session of the Legislature to address the issue of legal reform.
The governor wants legislators to pass components of House Bill 1603, a comprehensive lawsuit reform package signed into law in 2009. HB 1603 was designed to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits and medical malpractice claims filed in Oklahoma, making the state more business friendly and protecting Oklahoma physicians from frivolous lawsuits.
It passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by then-Gov. Brad Henry, but the state Supreme Court this year ruled that the law violated Oklahoma’s “single-subject” rule, which prohibits lawmakers from passing a single bill that address many subjects.
Optimism Among Small Business Owners? Not So Much
Small-business optimism sighed in July, with NFIB’s monthly Index increasing just over half-a-point (0.6) for a total reading of 94.1. This month’s report continues the historically weak trend of owner confidence which has led some observers to suggest that Index should be renamed, Small Business Pessimism Index. On the positive front, while the two labor market indicators remained weak, both improved and are beginning to push into “normal” territory. But uncertainty about the future remains endemic among jobs creators, only nine percent of respondents think that now is a good time to expand their businesses.
“In an attempt to ‘make lemonade’ from the lousy bushel of lemons the administration has handed the small-business community, owners gave the July optimism Index the great distinction of being the fourth highest reading since December 2007—when the economy slipped into official recession. But let’s not get too excited: The level is still well below the average reading of 100 in the prior 35 years and still half a point below the December 2007 reading.” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg.