Press Releases

Showing: May, 2003

Republicans Thwart Tax Increase Several Republican Reforms Enacted, read more.

OKLAHOMA CITY Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson said Wednesday that his first year as the leader of the Oklahoma State Senate was a qualified success.
The 2year veteran lawmaker said the First Session of the 9th Oklahoma Legislature, which ended Friday, produced a number of significant victories for the people of Oklahoma. read more.

Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 30 For Immediate Release: May 29, 2003 Clip
Senator Frank Shurden
Changes on Cockfighting Penalties on Hold Until 200 Senator Frank Shurden has decided to hold his bill proposing lesser penalties for cockfighting until the 200 session. Senate Bill 3 calls for a vote of the people in August of 200 on proposed changes.
Currently, all violations are classified as felonies. Under SB 3, a first offense would be a misdemeanor and a second would be a felony. read more.

The creation of an international trade center in Oklahoma is one step closer to becoming a reality. On Thursday, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in giving final legislative approval to Senate Bill 39.
Senator Jonathan Nichols is principal author of the measure, which was coauthored by Representative Billy Mitchell. Senator Nichols called the International Trade Processing Center one of the most important economic development projects for Oklahoma in years. read more.

OKLAHOMA CITY Legislation that could infuse millions of dollars into the states ailing horse racing industry and millions more into the state budget passed the Oklahoma State Senate Thursday afternoon by a 29 vote.
Senate Bill 3 now moves to the House of Representatives where it could be considered Friday, the last day of the First Session of the 9th Oklahoma Legislature. read more.

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – On a straight party-line vote late Wednesday evening, Senate Democrats rammed through a controversial education bill that reverses important education reforms and reduces the control of local school boards over the state’s public education system, Senate Republicans said today.

“HB 1767 is very bad news for every Oklahoman who wants to improve our public education system, and is a sellout to the liberal OEA leadership,” said Senate Republican Floor Leader James Williamson, R-Tulsa. Williamson is a former teacher.

read more.

OKLAHOMA CITY State Senators Wednesday approved legislation that will create smokefree workplaces for hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans and a healthier atmosphere for the states nonsmokers and children. Senate Joint Resolution 2 calls for a ban on smoking in most work places and other public places, including restaurants. Senators voted 3 to 9 for the bill, which now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson called the 39 vote a major victory for the health of Oklahomans. read more.

The Federal economic stimulus package just approved by Congress is now awaiting President Bushs signature. The proposal includes 20 billion for state governments across the nation.
The package is critical to Oklahoma and other states facing huge budget shortfalls, said Senator Angela Monson, President of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The 20 billion state aid plan earmarks 0 billion for Medicaid and 0 billion for states to use at their discretion. Oklahomas total share of that package is estimated to be approximately 2 million. read more.

Its been nearly a year since people lost their lives in the I0 bridge collapse near Webbers Falls. Since that time, Senator Ben Robinson has wondered what the legislature could do to help prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Thats why I introduced Senate Bill 3. It is difficult because we are dealing with multiple jurisdictions, but I wanted to make sure we did everything in our power as state legislators to keep this from happening again, explained Senator Robinson, DMuskogee. read more.

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – Thursday the state Senate adopted HB 1256 requiring zero-based budgeting for state government. Zero-based budgeting is a key Republican reform proposal that was part of the bipartisan budget agreement reached earlier this year.

“Zero-based budgeting will require state agencies to justify every dollar they spend from the first to the last, and will help the Legislature better analyze the effectiveness and performance of state agencies and programs,” said Sen. Scott Pruitt, R-Broken Arrow. Pruitt is a leading Senate advocate for zero-based budgeting.

read more.

Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson said Tuesday that he has never suggested dismantling the state fund dedicated to cleaning up the environmental threats from leaking underground petroleum storage tanks.

Hobson, D-Lexington, said his only desire is to ensure proper stewardship of both the environment and the taxpayer’s money by reforming management of the Underground Storage Tank Indemnity Fund.
read more.

Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 30 For Immediate Release: May 2, 2003 Clip
Senator James A. Williamson
Republican Leaders Concerned About Lack of Bipartisanship as read more.

Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 30 For Immediate Release: May 20, 2003 Clip
Senator Gilmer Capps
Oklahoma City Chosen for 200 National Legislative Conference Oklahomas capital has been chosen as host city for the Council of State Governments 200 Annual State Trends and Leadership Forum. Thats according to State Senator Gilmer Capps, who announced the selection on Tuesday. read more.

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin, Senate Republican Floor Leader James Williamson, and House Republican Floor Leader Todd Hiett issued the following statement on the tort plan issued by Governor Henry’s medical liability task force on Friday:

There is a single purpose to passing medical lawsuit reform in Oklahoma: To lower the cost of skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance for doctors and medical providers, thereby lowering the overall medical costs for Oklahoma families.

read more.

Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson and House Speaker Larry Adair announced Tuesday that lawmakers will return after the Memorial Day holiday weekend to complete the work of the First Session of the 49th Oklahoma Legislature.

Sine die adjournment will come sometime after Tuesday, May 27.

read more.

Senator Charles Ford announced the dedication of another original painting commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. The painting, titled “Nathaniel Pryor and Sam Houston at Three Forks” by nationally renowned artist Mike Wimmer of Norman, was unveiled during a ceremony in the Senate Chamber this afternoon.
read more.

Governor Henry signed a bill Thursday that requires all Oklahoma drivers license applicants to have their fingerprints scanned by a computerized fingerimaging device.
SB 23, which was authored by Senator Robert M. Kerr, DAltus, requires the Department of Public Safety DPS to implement a fingerimaging procedure for those who apply for an original, renewal or replacement drivers license or an identification card at state tag agencies. read more.

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – A tort plan issued by Governor Henry’s medical liability task force “falls far short” of being reform, Republican leaders said Friday.

read more.

Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 30 For Immediate Release: May , 2003 Clip
Senator Jim Reynolds
SB 30 Would Authorize Temporary Fishing Permits A measure that passed the Senate Wednesday would make it possible for Oklahomans to purchase temporary fishing permits, according to Senator Jim Reynolds, ROKC. read more.

A measure aimed at ensuring disabled Oklahomans wont lose their homes because of unpaid property taxes has been signed into law. Senator Jim Reynolds, ROKC, is principal author of Senate Bill 23, which was coauthored by Representative Kevin Calvey, RDel City.
Senator Reynolds explained that while the measure doesnt exempt those individuals from property taxes, it does ensure their homes wont be sold to pay property taxes. read more.