Press Releases

Showing: May, 2002

Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor,
Senate President Pro Tempore

"It's important to remember that there are still two other congressional redistricting cases pending – one in Sequoyah County District Court and one in federal court. In fact, the trial in Sequoyah County is scheduled to begin on Monday.

"We are going to monitor the developments in those cases. If those actions do not proceed for any reason, we plan to appeal the ruling that was made by the Oklahoma County District Court."

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Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor,
Senate President Pro Tempore

"I haven't had time to review the court's ruling so I can't comment on the specifics of the decision. Obviously, I am disappointed that the court did not select the redistricting plan submitted by the State Senate.

"Unlike Governor Keating's proposal, the Senate plan put the people ahead of the incumbent politicians and preserved historic communities of interest, namely the separate districts in northeastern and southeastern Oklahoma.

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(Oklahoma City) Thousands of Oklahoma senior citizens could get a break on prescription drug costs under a bill approved by the State Senate on Wednesday, according to the measure's author, Senator Brad Henry.

HB 2605 by Sen. Henry (D-Shawnee) and Rep. Ron Kirby (D-Lawton) is designed to give seniors better access to more affordable prescription drugs by linking them to special discount programs offered through government entities and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

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Taylor Comments on 2002 Session

Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor,
Senate President Pro Tempore

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Every year Oklahomans gather at the Memorial Garden on the grounds of the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City for a special ceremony honoring the more than 11,000 from this state who died in combat.

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Senator Charles Ford announced the dedication of another original painting commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund Inc. The painting, entitled Oklahoma City - April 29, 1889 Seven Days After The Land Run of 1889, by internationally known western artist Wayne Cooper of Depew, Oklahoma was unveiled during a ceremony in the House Senate Chamber this afternoon.

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Senator Jonathan Nichols has won approval from the legislature for a measure to exempt estate sales from taxation. The Norman Republican says the whole idea is to make dealing with the loss of a loved one less complicated for the family.

It is hard enough to deal with the death of a parent or other loved one, but often the family must endure liquidating the estate of the deceased. But then having to sit down and figure out sales taxes on those belongings is just an additional burden the family doesnt need at a time like that, said Senator Nichols.

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(Oklahoma City) The State Senate has approved legislation that will strengthen the financial standing of Oklahoma's largest state retirement system.

SB 1376 by Sen. Mike Morgan would increase the amount of state revenue that flows into the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System each year, ultimately cutting its unfunded liability in half.

"This will put the teachers retirement system on firmer financial footing. The stronger the system is, the better the benefits we can provide to our retired educators in the future," said Sen. Morgan.

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The State Senate has given final approval to a bill that would end that statute of limitations on sex crimes where DNA evidence has been preserved. State Senator and former prosecutor Jonathan Nichols is principal author of SB 1428, which would end the 7 year statute of limitations for crimes such as rape, forcible sodomy and lewd molestation as long as there was DNA evidence collected from the victim or crime scene. Senate Majority Leader, Billy Mickle, D-Durant, is principal co-author of the measure.

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Statement by Senator Jeff Rabon,
Senate District 5 McCurtain, Choctaw, Pushmataha and Atoka counties

NOTE: In his testimony in a congressional redistricting trial in Oklahoma City on Monday, state commerce department official Russell Perry asserted that southeastern Oklahoma was "a severe racist area for African-Americans."

More than anything, Im disappointed and saddened by Mr. Perrys remarks. He is obviously misinformed.

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(Oklahoma City) Even though the state is facing a significant budget shortfall next fiscal year, Oklahoma's K-12 public schools will receive a slight funding increase next year thanks to additional funding earmarked for increased teacher health benefits, according to a Senate budget leader.

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(Oklahoma City) Thousands of retired Oklahoma teachers will get a cost-of-living adjustment under a bill approved by the State Senate Tuesday.

SB 1231 by Senator Mike Morgan would authorize the 3 percent COLA for retired teachers, with an additional benefit for former educators who have 30 years of service or more.

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(Oklahoma City) The Oklahoma State Senate has approved a congressional redistricting plan that puts the people ahead of incumbent politicians, according to the author of the legislation, Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor.

SB 1683 reduces the number of congressional districts from six to five to reflect population shifts documented in the 2000 census. The House is expected to take up the measure later this week.

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