The Oklahoma Legislature's Joint Electricity Task Force met today to receive a progress report of activities and to hear a presentation on possible suggestions which have been from the United Kingdom's experience with electric restructuring.
Senator Kevin Easley, Task Force Chairman, said he is impressed by the continuing level of interest in restructuring Oklahoma's electric business.read more.
"I hope this isn't Governor Keating's subtle way of saying he doesn't support additional funding for our public schools, but I'm afraid that might be the case."
"When someone goes to the lengths that the Governor does to try to show that we're already spending enough on education, even when it's obvious we aren't, it tells me that he really isn't very interested in giving our school children the resources they need to succeed. That's disappointing, especially coming from a Governor who's spent so much time claiming that he's fighting the good fight for education."read more.
The leader of the Oklahoma Senate wants an all-day kindergarten proposal and a teacher pay raise program to be considered in the ongoing school reform debate at the State Capitol, saying Oklahoma can't afford to neglect its youngest students or the people who teach them.read more.
Saying he disagrees with Governor Keating's gloomy assessment of Oklahoma's public school system, a Senate education leader urged the state chief executive to take a closer look at the evidence before he condemns a decade of work by teachers, students and parents statewide.read more.
Senator Frank Shurden, author of legislation to legalize charity raffles, is questioning the viability of an alternative solution suggested today by the State Attorney General and a House committee chairman who is currently stalling action on the bill.
SB 671 has already passed the State Senate and is awaiting action in the House Rules Committee, but committee chairman Rep. Russ Roach has refused to hear the bill.read more.
Oklahoma has dropped another rung on the education funding ladder, falling to 50th lowest in the country, according to a new national report on per pupil expenditures. The latest funding estimates from the National Education Association indicate only Utah spends less on its public school students than Oklahoma.read more.
Senator Dave Herbert is considering an alternative funding mechanism to bankroll the return of passenger rail service in Oklahoma, one that won't bite state farmers.
The Midwest City legislator originally proposed a two-cent increase in the state diesel tax and a one-half cent hike in the gas tax, but he's now rethinking the proposal in light of Oklahoma farmers' heavy reliance on diesel fuel. SJR 12 has already received Senate approval and is awaiting House action.read more.
The debate over automatic teller machine fees will apparently continue after the Legislature adjourns in May, according to the state lawmaker who has fought to put a limit on ATM charges.
Senator Angela Monson, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has decided to put her bill on hold temporarily to give lawmakers more time to gather facts on the subject. The Oklahoma City lawmaker hopes an interim study will answer some of the questions that have arisen during discussion of her legislation.read more.
State Senate Republicans will be given the freedom to implement one of their education reform ideas in their home school districts if an amendment approved by the full Senate ultimately becomes law. The measure in question, originally proposed by the Senate GOP caucus last week, will require twelve pilot school districts to spend at least 90 percent of their education funding in the classroom.read more.
Repeat DUI offenders may lose more than their licenses the next time they drive drunk. They could also lose their car if legislation approved by the Oklahoma State Senate today ultimately becomes law.
"I don¹t think seizing a repeat DUI offender's car is too much of a punishment to exact, especially when you consider the thousands of Oklahomans whose lives have been shattered by drunk drivers. We need to send the message that if you drink and drive in Oklahoma, you'll not only lose your license, you might lose your car as well," said Senator Kevin Easley, author of SB 423.read more.