Wednesday, November 8, 2017
AS workers' compensation attorneys continue their legal challenges to a state law that shifted Oklahoma to an administrative model, the man who is head of the system is glad to share the positive results it has produced.
The Republican-controlled Legislature voted in 2013 to do away with the longstanding court-centered workers' comp system. The new law establishing the Workers' Compensation Commission took effect Feb. 1, 2104.
The ensuing 15 months were bumpy, to put it lightly, as the commission failed to regularly follow the state's Open Meetings Act and struggled with internal structural problems. In April 2015, two of the three commissioners resigned.
Mark Liotta joined the commission at that time, appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin. Liotta is a former member of the Legislature who also worked from the ground up at a Tulsa construction company, and has experience in the Army National Guard and in Tulsa County government.
He has worked to improve various flaws within the WCC — regular staff meetings are now the norm, for example, after being nonexistent when he arrived. These meetings help to improve communication among divisions. The commission also now has an organizational chart — a slight change, but needed.