Oklahoma City - "I'd say somebody got overly zealous in doing their job," said Senator Lewis Long in reaction to a recent fine slapped on a Little League baseball organization for not having workers' compensation insurance.
The State Labor Department had fined the Moore Little League Baseball Association $2,000 for failing to carry workers' comp insurance.
"This is just simply ridiculous. I find it extremely interesting that this has never happened before. But I'm going to make sure it never happens again," said Senator Long, D-Glenpool.read more.
Governor Keating's veto of welfare-to-work funds will jeopardize the progress Oklahoma has made on the welfare reform front, in addition to damaging assistance programs for senior citizens, according to the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Services.
"We're making unbelievable progress in getting thousands of welfare recipients off state assistance and putting them back to work. I am disappointed. This veto will negatively impact our efforts at providing child care and job placement for people who need to work," said Senator Ben Brown.read more.
Statement from Senator Cal Hobson,
Vice-chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee:
"I applaud Governor Keating for signing the trooper pay raise, but in the same breath I would also urge him to approve legislation granting thousands of retired law enforcement officers a cost-of-living increase. They put their lives on the line for us for an entire career and deserve to be compensated.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - The next generation of NASA Space Shuttles could be based in Oklahoma. That is the hope of state lawmakers who adopted a resolution today endorsing a proposal to make the former Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base a home-base for the Space Shuttle Program.
Senator Gilmer Capps (D-Snyder) and Representative Jack Bonny (D-Burns Flat) have been the driving forces behind efforts to offer the former air base near Burns Flat to NASA officials. Clinton-Sherman provides the ideal facility and ideal conditions needed for the space agency.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Senator Mike Fair (R-Oklahoma_City) has directed Senate Staff to draft language to defer the effective date of Oklahoma's Truth-In-Sentencing bill.
The proposed two year delay comes as the end of the 1998 legislative session nears and lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement on changes to the criminal justice reform bill.
"The proposed delay could be considered if the Senate and House vote to suspend their rules," said Senator Fair. "However, the Governor would more than likely have to call a special session of the Legislature to make it happen."read more.
In an effort to break the logjam over the future of Rogers University, Governor Keating and members of the Tulsa legislative delegation are offering a compromise proposal which would bring a four-year university and a graduate center to Tulsa.
Among other things, the bipartisan agreement would preserve the roles of existing institutions in the Tulsa area, putting Oklahoma State University in charge of undergraduate programs and creating a graduate center which would be run by OSU and the University of Oklahoma.read more.
Governor Keating's plan to raid state pension funds is drawing the opposition of a powerful law enforcement organization. The development has prompted a Senate budget leader to renew his call for the Governor and Republican lawmakers to drop the initiative and resist tampering with state retirement funds.read more.