Showing: April, 2007

The state Senate on Monday honored the accomplishments of the University of Oklahoma Women’s Basketball team and head coach Sherri Coale, passing a resolution commending the team on another championship season.

Sen. John Sparks authored Senate Resolution 34 to recognize Coale and the Sooner women, who in 2006-07 became the first Big XII program to win back-to-back regular season and post-season conference championships.

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Audio includes reading of SR 34 and comments from Sen. Sparks and Sherri Coale.

Legislation to address the growing crisis in the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma (TRS) is now on its way to Gov. Brad Henry for his consideration. That’s after the full Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 357 on Monday. Sen. Mike Mazzei and Sen. Kenneth Corn co-authored the measure. They agreed passage of the bill was a critical move toward addressing the system’s $7 billion unfunded liability.
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Following passage of SB 357, strengthening the Teachers’ Retirement System, Senate Appropriations Co-chairs Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher and Johnnie Crutchfield, D-Ardmore, and co-authors Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, and Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, talked to reporters about the measure.

At a time when Oklahoma is receiving criticism for student performance on the ACT as well as a failing grade from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in academic achievement, State Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson said a push to weaken Gov. Brad Henry’s Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE) program with alternative testing couldn’t come at a worse time. The majority of the ACE steering committee supported more than 270 examinations to offer students in place of proficiency tests in core subjects.
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Sen. Wilcoxson hopes Governor will urge State Board to reject recommendations on alternative tests.

It is estimated that up to 1.5 million Americans have some form of autism, and reports indicate autism is growing at a rate of 10 to 17 percent each year. In an effort to help better educate the public about this neurological disorder, the State Senate voted on Thursday to declare April 2007 as Autism Awareness Month in Oklahoma. Sen. Mike Johnson was the principal author of the measure.
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Sen. Mike Johnson discusses autism on the floor after passing the resolution.
Week 12 Q & A with Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee.
Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Glenn Coffee discusses the attempted override of SB 714, the budget negotiations and tort reform during his weekly Q and A session with members of the press.

SB 714 Author Disappointed by Senator Laster’s Flip-Flop on Abortion Issue

On Wednesday the evenly divided Oklahoma Senate fell one vote short of the 32 votes needed to override Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of a pro-life bill after Democrat Senator Charles Laster of Shawnee flip-flopped by voting against an override motion after voting 3 previous times in favor of the legislation this session – once in committee and twice on the Senate floor.
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Sen. Williamson urges members to vote to override the veto of SB 714.

Doctors should not pressure women into having abortions because medical tests indicate the baby may be born with disabilities. That was the message at a State Capitol Press Conference on Tuesday with Sen. James A. Williamson, principal author of Senate Bill 714, a measure to ban the use of state facilities or employees to perform abortions. That measure was recently vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry.
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Sen. Williamson and others urge Senate to override Governor's veto of SB 714.  Speakers in order: Sen. Williamson, Doris Erhart-mother of Down syndrome son, Juanita Killingsworth-mother of Down syndrome daughter, Rep. Rebecca Hamilton.

The evenly divided Oklahoma Senate voted Thursday to send a bipartisan, comprehensive lawsuit reform bill to Gov. Brad Henrys desk. The Senate passed Senate Bill 0, authored by Sen. Cliff Branan, ROklahoma City, on a bipartisan 2 to 23 vote. The bills supporters praised the passage of the historic legislation. Four years ago Gov. Henry promised to bring Texas Plus tort reform to Oklahoma. read more.

Q & A with Republican Senators Williamson, Coffee, Laughlin and Brannon. Includes discussions about SB 507 (lawsuit reform) that was passed by the Senate Thursday.

In an effort to bring attention to the importance of biofuels in Oklahoma and to place increased emphasis on the production of oil seed crops, the State Senate passed House Bill 1916 Tuesday. The principal Senate author, Senator Ron Justice explained the legislation would allow for a tax exemption on the production of biofuels.
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Sen. Justice says HB 1916 will help Oklahoma lead the nation's biofuel race.

Some of Oklahoma’s biggest entertainment attractions may soon benefit from the construction of a luxury hotel to be constructed in Oklahoma City’s Adventure District.

On Tuesday, the full Senate approved House Bill 2019 to provide a tax refund of $354,000 on the construction of a hotel that would be built near Remington Park. Senate author Richard Lerblance explained the bill would benefit not only Oklahoma City, but the state as a whole.
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Sen. Lerblance debating for HB 2019.