Press Releases

Showing: November, 1997

OKLAHOMA CITY - Seven members of the Oklahoma State Legislature are in Houston to hear presentations and participate in tours hosted by three Texas companies.

The Legislators are members of the Joint Electric Utility Task Force. The Houston trip is designed to see first-hand how electricity is traded.

During the upcoming legislative session, the task force members will serve as the "eyes and ears" for the entire legislature regarding technical issues as Oklahoma moves toward electric choice by the year 2002, as called for in Senate Bill 500.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The Special Senate Interim Committee's second meeting on Pipeline Easements is scheduled for November 25. State Senator Paul Muegge (D-Tonkawa) serves as chairman of the interim committee.

"The meetings are designed for lawmakers to hear both sides of the pipeline easement issue," said Senator Muegge. "I'm hopeful that we can continue to gather input from pipeline company representatives and landowners as we work our way toward resolving differences over easements."

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Legislation proposed for the 1998 State Legislature would give Oklahoma communities a tool to limit the unimpeded expansion of concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

State Senator Bill Gustafson (R-El Reno) has introduced a bill to give county commissioners the authority to call a special election for the purpose of placing size limits on CAFOs. If approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, the bill could impact future concentrated animal feeding facilities.

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The State Regents for Higher Education will violate state law if they implement an initiative designed to give them greater control over Rogers University, according to Senator Charles Ford. Last week, it was revealed the regents were working on a plan to shake up the four-school consortium and reduce the influence of the local Rogers University board.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - State Senator Jeff Rabon (D-Hugo) is introducing legislation giving sales tax credits to companies or individuals that develop tourism projects.

"The idea is simple and more importantly successful," said Senator Rabon. "Qualifying companies or individuals would be able to receive back a large portion of their sales taxes just for developing tourism. It's the same principle used by the Quality Jobs Act which pays companies a portion of its payroll in return for expansion or new hires."

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Citing a surplus at the State Insurance Fund, two prominent legislators are calling for the fund's board to approve a dividend for the Oklahoma businesses it insures. Senator Ben Robinson and Representative Bill Settle are asking the fund board to implement a one-time dividend ranging from $60 million to $100 million.

"When there's a surplus at the fund, that means Oklahoma businesses are paying too much for their insurance. A lot of small businesses around Oklahoma are insured by the fund and they would benefit greatly from a dividend," said Senator Robinson.

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