Press Releases

Showing: May, 2001

OKLAHOMA CITY - Senator Jim Reynolds wants to make sure Oklahomans have a choice when it comes to non-emergency medical transportation. However under current law, a person who cannot be transported sitting up and who needs assistance has no legal choice but to call an ambulance service, which can cost hundreds of dollars more than a non-emergency stretcher service.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - State Senator Jim Reynolds is inviting the public to join him and other volunteers this Saturday in Del City where they'll be helping people remove their vehicle inspection stickers. This past week the governor signed a bill making repeal of the mandatory inspections effective immediately.

"I got out and scraped off my old inspection sticker the very next morning. I have to tell you it felt great. Just the idea that we'd eliminated this government intrusion into our lives was a fantastic feeling," said Senator Reynolds, R-OKC.

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Senator Keith Leftwich proudly announced the signing of SB 674 into law by Governor Frank Keating on Wednesday May 23rd.

The Democrat from South Oklahoma City authored the Compete with Canada Film Act to grab the attention of those in Hollywood to create more of their films in Oklahoma. The bill will provide a 15-percent cash-back incentive on money spent in the state for movie or television production.

"I am extremely pleased that SB 674 has been signed by the Governor," said Senator Leftwich. "This is a big step forward in promoting economic development in Oklahoma."

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Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor,
Senate President Pro Tempore

"All in all, I think it was a very productive session. Certainly, we didn't solve every problem on the horizon, but no Legislature ever does. We did do a number of things to improve our state and make life better for the average Oklahoman, from putting more resources into public school classrooms to providing tax relief for working families. Certainly in terms of its conclusion, this may have been one of the most orderly sessions that I have ever experienced at the State Capitol."

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Right to Work, Tax Cuts, Parental Consent top the list

OKLAHOMA CITY-Senate Republican leaders declared the 2001 session of the Oklahoma Legislature a success, grading it an 'A-minus' for the people of Oklahoma.

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House Bill 1727, the bill containing the amendment authored by State Senator Scott Pruitt (R-Broken Arrow) establishing liability when doctors do not acquire parental consent before performing an abortion on a minor, passed the State House of Representatives today and is headed to the governor for approval.

"This is a great day for the people of Oklahoma," said Senator Pruitt. "After years of work by countless individuals life has won out. Today we made a statement that Oklahoma values life and that parents must be a part of their children's lives."

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OKLAHOMA CITY - At a capitol news conference State Senator Scott Pruitt (R-Broken Arrow) celebrated "the most productive week for families" in recent legislative history. Pruitt made his comments following the advancement of two key pro-family measures he authored this session. The first victory comes with House passage of House Bill 1727, a bill containing Pruitt's amendment calling for parental notification prior to a minor receiving an abortion. read more.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Senator Brad Henry is thanking the many Oklahomans who have shared their thoughts, prayers and condolences after the passing of his father, Charles T. Henry. The former legislator died Tuesday from lung cancer at the age of 65.

"I just want to tell everyone how much their kind words and prayers have meant to me and my family. It really does make it a bit easier to cope with our loss," said Senator Henry.

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(Oklahoma City) A controversial early release law will be repealed under a sweeping criminal justice reform bill approved by the State Senate.

SB 397 would do away with the so-called "cap law," in addition to lowering the legal blood alcohol content on drunk driving offenses and mandating tougher sentences for more violent criminals in Oklahoma. The legislation will also reform existing property crime statutes to ensure that the expensive, high-security prison beds are reserved for the most dangerous criminals.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The State Senate has approved a measure that would create a statewide registry for teen sex offenders. Senator Ted Fisher is the principal author of Senate Bill 157. He said the legislation was in response to a homicide and assault that occurred in his district.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Two lawmakers who authored a measure to end the state's mandatory vehicle inspection have succeeded in passing an amendment to speed up the repeal of those inspections. Senator Glenn Coffee and Representative Richard Phillips co-authored House Bill 1081, which calls for the inspections to end this August.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The State Senate has given its final approval to a measure aimed at encouraging more Oklahomans to save for their children's college education. That's according to State Senator Brad Henry and Representative Debbie Blackburn, authors of House Bill 1896, which has also been approved by the House of Representatives.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Legislation aimed at helping more people construct storm shelters has cleared another hurdle. House Joint Resolution 1001, which was given final approval by the State Senate on Wednesday, would let the voters decide whether to give a property tax exemption to new storm shelters.

Jim Reynolds is the Senate author of the measure. The Oklahoma City Republican hopes it will encourage more people to build safe rooms or other storm shelters.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A statue of the first woman ever elected to statewide office was unveiled Tuesday during a ceremony at the State Capitol. Keynote Speaker Senate Appropriations Chairman Kelly Haney secured funding for the project, which he said was long overdue.

"This marks the first time any woman has ever been honored with a sculpture like this at the Capitol. And I can think of no better woman to honor than Kate Barnard, who was Oklahoma's first Commissioner of Charities and Corrections," said Senator Haney.

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(Oklahoma City) Legislative leaders and Governor Keating have reached a bipartisan budget agreement that will deliver more funding to all three branches of education and other vital services, in addition to cutting income taxes for all Oklahomans, including working families at the bottom of the income ladder. After it is fully implemented, the tax relief initiative will return $46.3 million to citizens each year.

The Governor, House Speaker Larry E. Adair and Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor announced the budget agreement at a State Capitol news conference Monday.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - If not for last year's legislation calling for a $250,000 appropriation for DNA testing, Jeffrey Todd Pierce would likely still be behind bars for a rape he never committed. The total appropriation for the coming fiscal year for that program will be almost triple that amount.

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The State Senate has approved legislation that would increase health benefits for all state employees, in addition to raising the pay of such high-turnover positions as state correctional officers and state nurses.

SB 702 would authorize the appropriation of approximately $36 million for a state employee pay package. Among other things, the measure would provide a $4,000 pay hike to state prison guards and a $2,100 salary increase to nurses at state veterans centers and other facilities.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A measure to repeal the state's mandatory vehicle inspections has been signed into law. House Bill 1081 authors Representative Richard Phillips and Senator Glenn Coffee say it will result in a $12 million savings, as well as eliminating an outdated mandate.

"I'm very happy that we've been able to repeal this outdated requirement. There are too many hassles and expenses to deal with day to day as it is. I'm sure the majority of Oklahomans will be thrilled that we've done away with this one," said Sen. Coffee, R- Oklahoma City.

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State Senator Cal Hobson confirmed Tuesday that he has secured unanimous support from fellow Democrats to win election as the next President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate. The Lexington Democrat said that every member of the Democratic caucus has provided him with an official pledge card, promising to support his election to the top Senate post. Hobson will replace Senator Stratton Taylor after his current term expires in two years. Taylor is not seeking another term as Senate President Pro Tempore, but is running for re-election to the State Senate in 2002.

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