Showing: March, 2011
Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman's Weekly Q & A with Capitol Press (8th Week)

State Senators John Ford, Clark Jolley and Dan Newberry said they were honored to author education reform initiatives championed by Gov. Mary Fallin and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush visited Oklahoma last August to outline reform policies that had made a dramatic difference in student achievement in his state. Wednesday he returned to Oklahoma to join Fallin, Sen. President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, House Speaker Kris Steele and Superintendent Janet Barresi at a State Capitol press conference promoting legislation aimed at improving public education.

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Gov Fallin, Sup. Barresi, Speaker Steele, Senate Pres Pro Tem Bingman, former FL Gov Bush on education reform

In a bipartisan vote of 41 to 6, the full Senate has approved a second measure to help boost Oklahomas aerospace industry. Like Senate Bill 3, House Bill 1008 will restore tax credits for the creation of new aerospace engineering positions in Oklahoma. Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, is principal Senate author for both pieces of legislation.

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Sen Mazzei says HB 1008 helps OK focus on strengths, further boosting economy

Calling it “horrific and tasteless,” State Sen. David Holt said the AFL-CIO and IAFF labor unions should stop airing a television commercial that uses images of the Oklahoma City Bombing to encourage opposition to legislation reforming how cities negotiate with employees.
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Sen. Holt says unions exploiting OKC Bombing in TV commercial. 
Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman's Weekly Q & A with Capitol Press (7th Week)

Today the Oklahoma Senate approved a bill that will give businesses and individuals the opportunity to play a role in providing quality education for Oklahoma children. Known as the “Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act,” Senate Bill 969 by Senator Dan Newberry, R-Sand Springs, passed with bi-partisan support by a vote of 30 to 14.

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Sen. Newberry discusses the passage of SB 969.

The full Senate has given approval to a measure letting voters decide whether to cut the growth of annual property tax valuations. Senate Joint Resolution 5, by Sen. Jim Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, would give voters the option of lowering the current property valuation cap from a maximum of five percent to three percent, or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.

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Sen Reynolds explains SJR 5 on the floor
Senate approves pension reform

The full Senate has taken a major step toward addressing Oklahoma’s $16 billion unfunded pension liability with unanimous approval Wednesday of a major reform measure.

State Sen. Mike Mazzei is the author of Senate Bill 891 and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Pensions. He said the biggest part of that $16 billion in unfunded liability is in the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System (OTRS), with $10 billion in unfunded liability.
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Sen. Mazzei in floor Q & A saysing the problem facing the state could be disastrous.

The Oklahoma State Senate concluded official business Wednesday, one day before the required deadline to hear all Senate bills that had passed committee. Constitutionally, the Senate or House must receive approval from the opposite chamber in order to adjourn from legislative business early.
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Sen Ellis debates for passage of texting while driving ban

The Senate unanimously approved a measure Wednesday to send to a vote of the people a constitutional amendment to remove the Governor from the parole process for nonviolent offenders. Sen. Josh Brecheen, author of Senate Joint Resolution 25, said the measure would help speed up the parole process as well as save the state millions.
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Sen. Brecheen says removing the Governor from the parole process for nonviolent offenses will save the state millions.