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Showing: May, 2009
Positive Reforms Become Law, More Positive Results to Come

With the passage of a landmark lawsuit reform bill; a new centralized function for state information services that will save Oklahoma millions of dollars, as it has in other states; and the new public-private partnership which will ensure OSU Medical Center’s future; a water bill that keeps Oklahomans in control of our most precious commodity; and many other major reforms, the first legislative session under a Republican majority produced unprecedented success and offers more opportunities to continue a reform agenda in 20 read more.

Senate Majority Leader Lamb and President Pro Tem Coffee End of Session.

The State Senate has given final approval to legislation creating stronger penalties for domestic abuse and for possession of child pornography. Senate Bill 1020, by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, was approved unanimously on Friday.

“Crimes like domestic abuse and child pornography destroy families and shatter lives,” said Nichols, R-Norman. “My legislation creates stronger sentences and closes loopholes so these serious crimes will carry the serious punishments they deserve.”
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Sen. Nichols explains legislation addressing domestic violence and child porn possession.

The Senate gave final approval to legislation Friday to help reach out to the thousands of at-risk youth in the state and help them become productive citizens. Senate Concurrent Resolution 32, by Sen. Harry Coates, creates the Task Force on Youth Transitioning into Adulthood to look at why so many of Oklahoma's children are falling through the cracks.

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Sen. Coates says thousands of Oklahoma's kids need help transitioning to adulthood.

On Friday, Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Rep. Joe Dorman succeeded in their effort to close a loophole that allows sex offenders to use ice cream trucks to come into close contact with children.

The Oklahoma Legislature approved a compromise version of Senate Bill 1020 which would strengthen state laws on domestic violence and increase penalties for child pornography.

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Sen. Gumm on need for his legislation.

State Sen. Steve Russell’s bill to exempt Oklahoma soldiers from state income tax on federal pay is one step closer to becoming law. Senate Bill 881, co-authored by Rep. Gary Banz, R-Midwest City, was approved on a bipartisan vote of 45 to 0 on Friday. Russell said he was elated that the bill was so close to the governor’s desk. The tax exemption would apply to all troops, whether they are National Guard, Reserve or active.
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Sen. Russell on SB 881.

State Sen. Jim Reynolds said he was extremely disappointed that Oklahomans have been denied the opportunity to vote to slow increases on their property taxes. Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, said despite the fact that Senate Joint Resolution 5 was approved earlier this session by both the Senate and the House, it is unlikely that the measure will be sent to the Secretary of State to be placed on the ballot.
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Sen. Reynolds Press Conference on SJR 5.
Interests of Oklahomans Put First

In an effort to safeguard Oklahoma’s water resources, the State Senate voted unanimously to support House Bill 1483.

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Sen. Justice on HB 1483 water bill.

The Senate has given final approval to a measure aimed at reducing drunk driving in Oklahoma. Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton, is the principal author of Senate Bill 1185. The measure allows those convicted of drunk driving on a second or subsequent offence to retain their license if they agree to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This device prevents the vehicle’s engine from starting if the driver is intoxicated.
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Sen. Barrington says SB 1185 will reduce drunk driving.
Sean Jekins Exec. Dir. of Green Country MADD says bill will reduce drunk driving.

The Senate has given final approval to a measure aimed at reducing drunk driving in Oklahoma. Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton, is the principal author of Senate Bill 1185. The measure allows those convicted of drunk driving on a second or subsequent offence to retain their license if they agree to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This device prevents the vehicle’s engine from starting if the driver is intoxicated.
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Sen. Barrington says SB 1185 will reduce drunk driving.
Sean Jekins Exec. Dir. of Green Country MADD says bill will reduce drunk driving.

On Wednesday, the State Senate honored one of America’s heroes, Colonel Perry Bill Woolridge. Sen. Earl Garrison, Woolridge’s nephew, authored Senate Resolution 58 commending the Oklahoman’s military career which spanned five decades and included service in both the U.S. Army and the Oklahoma National Guard.
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Reading of SR 58 with comments from Sen. Garrison, Sec. of Veterans Affairs Norman Lamb and Col. Perry Woolridge.