Showing: June, 2005

Saying he was alarmed by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling expanding the use of eminent domain, Sen. Clark Jolley plans to introduce a legislation giving greater protection to private property owners in Oklahoma.

The court decision expands the right of local governments to seize private property not only for public projects, such as the construction of roads or schools, but also for private economic development.

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Sen. Jolley to introduce private protection act

Senator Kenneth Corn and other members of the Senate stood outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary (OSP) in McAlester this afternoon and vowed to continue fighting for adequate funding for Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) and promised to work diligently to bring a comprehensive solution to a funding problem that plagues the department year after year.

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Sen Corn on corrections funding after visit to Oklahoma State Penitentiary

Sen. Brian Crain is planning to introduce legislation limiting the circumstances local governments can use for taking personal property. He said last week’s Supreme Court decision was a serious blow to the rights of individual property owners.

“I support the use of eminent domain for roads, bridges and other kinds of infrastructure projects that clearly benefit the public. But I do not support selling eminent domain powers to the highest bidder. That’s what I’m afraid this Supreme Court ruling could do,” said Crain, R-Tulsa.

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Sen Crain to file legislation restricting eminent domain

Two Republican state senators have written Attorney General Drew Edmondson seeking an official opinion regarding the elimination of Certificates of Non-Coverage (CNC) by the recently passed workers’ compensation reform bill – a provision that is placing an undue burden on thousands of small businesses.

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Sen. Cliff Aldridge on requestion for AG's opinion on workers' comp problem.

A pair of Republican state senators from the Tulsa area called on Gov. Brad Henry Tuesday to add tobacco tax parity legislation to the agenda for the Legislature’s special session.

News reports last weekend quoted State Treasurer Scott Meacham – the architect of Henry’s poorly-designed tobacco tax program – as saying the governor is “surveying” members of the legislature to determine whether there is support for parity legislation.

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Sen. Brogdon says tobacco tax parity legislation is necessary to save jobs in Oklahoma.
Senators Fight to Save Pole Road

Two state senators are working together to ensure a Department of Transportation plan to reconstruct the I-240 and I-35 interchanges in two years doesn’t result in eliminating access to a road taken by nearly half of Crossroads Mall’s customers. Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-OKC, and Sen. Jim Reynolds, R-OKC, said the proposal could take a terrible toll on businesses and their employees.
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Sen. Leftwich says plan to close Pole Road could hurt Crossroads Mall.

(Oklahoma City) Governor Brad Henry turned his back on rural Oklahoma late Wednesday by vetoing a section of the Department of Commerce appropriation bill that directed $3.1 million to sub-state planning districts to fund local projects.

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 Sen Rabon critical of line item veto

State Sen. Randy Brogdon said he had serious concerns that one item on the Governor’s expanded special session call could waste millions of taxpayer dollars. Specifically, the Owasso Republican questioned the second item of the amended call which asked lawmakers to consider funding for the Oklahoma Capitol Complex.
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Sen. Brogdon concerns special session item could waste millions.

“I am thankful for the leadership Governor Henry has displayed by expanding the special session to include funding priorities for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC).
“On Tuesday I asked the Governor for his help on this matter because I was fearful that waiting any longer to address the issue of additional funding for DOC would seriously compromise the safety of Oklahoma communities. read more.

 Sen. Corn says he's glad that Gov. Henry extended the special session.

State Senators Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a workers’ compensation reform measure that will save Oklahoma businesses more than $110 million while protecting the rights of injured workers.
Final passage of the measure, which is endorsed by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, is expected by the end of the week.

In a 39-7 vote, Senators sent Senate Bill 1X to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for consideration.
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Sens. Morgan and Laster Q & A with reporters over workers comp.