Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor
Senate President Pro Tempore
"The only pressing issues that require immediate attention are the Multiple Injury Trust Fund and the budget reconciliation bills. For example, we plan to fix the federal tax rebate problem and address the other agenda issues, but there is no urgency that requires the work to be done on September 7th."read more.
State insurance regulators have approved a double-digit reduction in workers compensation rates - an action that will save Oklahoma businesses more than $26 million according to actuarial estimates.
The State Board for Property and Casualty Rates, the panel that regulates private insurance carriers, approved a 12.7 percent rate reduction at its annual rate review Thursday. It is the sixth reduction in workers comp rates in the last seven years and the largest single-year cut during that time period.read more.
A special task force on electric restructuring will be touring the state in the weeks to come, seeking public input on how Oklahoma should proceed with the complex issue.
State Senator Kevin Easley, chairman of the Electric Restructuring Advisory Committee, said the panel's number one goal is a simple one - to avoid the mistakes that were made in California.read more.
Governor Frank Keating said he was thrilled when he saw the 17-foot tall version of the Guardian Statue for the first time. At Senator Kelly Haney's invitation, the Governor paid a visit to the artist at the Crucible Foundry in Norman Friday morning to get a first-hand look at how the work was progressing.
"We really have the Governor to thank for helping complete this project that was actually planned over 80 years ago. I was very happy that he was able to come see how close we are to getting the Guardian finished," said Haney.read more.
When State Senator Jim Reynolds learned that former OU and NFL star Keith Jackson was interested in expanding his highly successful program for at risk kids to Oklahoma, he wanted to do everything he could to bring the All-American to Oklahoma City.read more.
Three State Senators are encouraging Oklahoma insurance regulators to approve the largest possible workers compensation rate cut when they meet later this month to conduct their annual review of the comp market.
In a letter addressed to members of the State Board for Property and Casualty Rates, Senators Johnnie Crutchfield, Dave Herbert and Keith Leftwich called for a "double digit" reduction, saying it would provide a big boost to area businesses, the Oklahoma economy and the state's overall business climate.read more.
Recently, the Democrat leaders of the House and Senate asked Governor Keating to expand the call for special session to include funding proposals for injured workers. Why? Because the Multiple Injury Trust Fund (MITF) will once again go bankrupt, potentially leaving some injured workers without their awarded benefits.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - When Oklahoma voters go to the polls to vote for governor in November 2002 they'll also have the opportunity to expand the state's term limit law if one elected official has his way. State Senator Glenn Coffee (R-OKC) plans to file a resolution during the next legislative session asking the voters to approve the expansion of term limits to all statewide elected officials and county officers. Currently, only state legislators and the governor fall under term limits.read more.
Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor,
Senate President Pro Tempore
"I applaud Governor Keating for joining the fight to increase funding for public education. Just two weeks ago, Senators Cal Hobson and Penny Williams made the same proposal as the governor, urging that the bulk of any state growth revenue be directed toward public education. I'm glad that Governor Keating is supporting their recommendation."
"I just hope that we actually have growth revenue to discuss next year."read more.
Many parents know the feeling of having to stretch their budget just to buy new school clothes and shoes for their children at the beginning of each school year.
One state senator is encouraging Oklahomans to not give up hope. Senator Jeff Rabon has introduced a bill for the past three years to give Oklahomans a tax break for their children's back-to-school items. The Hugo Democrat states the bill is still alive and will be up for reconsideration next session.read more.
(Oklahoma City) The Oklahoma Legislature will return for special session on September 7th, but it does not plan to take up the issue of tax reform then, according to House Speaker Larry Adair and Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor.
The two legislative leaders announced today that they want to address several pressing issues during the session, but will delay any action on a proposed tax reform package until a later date.read more.
Responding to the Legislative leadership's request to include the financial shortfalls of the Multiple Injury Trust Fund in a special session call, Senator Scott Pruitt (R-Broken Arrow) expressed hope that meaningful workers compensation reform could be a reality.read more.
After successfully completing chemotherapy treatments and a rigorous rehabilitation program, State Senator Larry Dickerson is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday morning in Houston to remove some final "suspicious nodes" related to his cancer treatment.
The local legislator made the announcement on Wednesday, saying he wanted to keep his constituents updated on his condition.
"The people of my district mean a lot to me and I wanted them to know what's going on. It's just like letting your boss know that you're going to be out sick for a few days," he said.read more.
New York, NY - The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced the appointment of Oklahoma Senator Jim Dunlap as its National Chairman for 2002 at an August 3rd session of their annual meeting. Dunlap will be installed this December at the organization's States' and Nation Policy Summit in Washington, DC.
"Senator Dunlap is an exemplary leader, both in his home state of Oklahoma and as a leader in ALEC," said outgoing 2001 National Chairman Steve McDaniel. "It is truly an honor to have him as our National Chairman in 2002."read more.
Support from the Oklahoma Congressional delegation has brought the planned Native American Cultural Center and Museum a giant step closer to reality. That's according to State Senator Kelly Haney, who has been working on funding for the center since 1994.read more.
If Oklahoma's economy continues to produce growth revenue next fiscal year, the bulk of new funds should be set aside to meet needs in the state's public school system, according to two key state lawmakers who oversee public school legislation.
Senator Penny Williams and Senator Cal Hobson said they want to stake an early claim for education funding so that there is no confusion about fiscal priorities when initial budget estimates are made later this year.read more.