Edmondson opposes sale of workers' comp. agency

Chris Rizo Feb. 26, 2010, 5:45am

Drew Edmondson (D)

OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) - A proposal to sell Oklahoma's workers' compensation insurance agency has been met with opposition from state Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

Edmondson, a Democrat who is running for governor, has warned the plan to privatize CompSource Oklahoma would lead to increased employer premiums.

Proposals are pending in the state House and Senate to sell non-profit CompSource, which was created in 1933 to help keep workers' compensation prices competitive.

CompSource has roughly 26,000 policyholders and writes about 35 percent of the workers' compensation policies in the Sooner State.

Edmondson was quoted by The Associated Press this week as saying the plans to privatize CompSource would not be good for the state's business community.

"This may be good for insurance companies. It is not good for businesses in Oklahoma," Edmondson was quoted as saying. "They could be priced out."

One of the privatization bills is being championed by state Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, who said Edmondson's opposition is politically motivated.

"Unless he has some legal objection, it appears he has his candidate for governor hat on and not his attorney general hat," Sullivan said.

Some supporters of selling CompSource say the agency enjoys an unfair advantage over private insurers because it is exempt from state and federal taxes.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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