Press Releases

Showing: November, 2008
Senate Leader Finalizes Majority Staff

Oklahoma State Senate President Pro Tempore Designate Glenn Coffee announced Tuesday that he has finalized his majority leadership staff for the 2009 legislative session.

Coffee’s staff includes:

Fred Morgan, Senior Policy Advisor and Legal Counsel to the President Pro Tempore
Former State Rep. Morgan continues in his role as Coffee’s top aide.

Becky Woodie, Personal Assistant to the President Pro Tempore
Ms. Woodie has served as Coffee’s personal assistant since he was first elected to the State Senate a decade ago.

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In response to declining budget projections and a national economic crisis that may eventually be the worst seen by the country in many decades, Sen. Kenneth Corn has filed legislation that would bring long-term stability to the state budget and security to Oklahoma citizens.

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Oklahoma State Senate President Pro Tempore Designate Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, announced Monday that he is reducing the number of Senate committees and subcommittees by two, from 22 to 20. Coffee also named the Senate’s new committee chairs on Monday.

Changes to the Senate’s committee structure include:

The elimination of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
Combining two Appropriations subcommittees – Health and Social Services, and Human Services – into a single Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

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Oklahoma State Senate President Pro Tempore Designate Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, announced Friday that Randy Swanson of Yukon will join Coffee’s Senate leadership staff as Majority Leadership Communications Director.

Swanson brings more than 25 years of experience in public relations, politics and government service to the State Senate. He will direct media, press, and public outreach activities for Coffee and the Senate’s Republican leadership team. For the first time in the state’s history, Republicans have the majority in the Oklahoma State Senate.

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The first Senate bill filed for the upcoming legislative session is “Nick’s Law.” Senator Jay Paul Gumm is the principal author of Senate Bill 1, which would require insurance companies to cover diagnosis and treatment of autism in children.

Gumm, a Democrat from Durant, first filed the bill in 2008. The measure won bipartisan support in the Senate, but it was stopped by a small group of Republican leaders in the House of Representatives. Gumm said then he would renew his fight for the bill, which he says is critical for children all over Oklahoma.
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Senate President Pro Tempore Designate Glenn Coffee has announced his choice for Secretary of the Senate and State Election Board Secretary. Paul Ziriax, who has held the title of Leadership Assistant at the State Senate for the past six years, has been named to the dual posts.

The Pro Tempore selects the Secretary of the Senate, who must then be elected by a majority of members. Under Oklahoma law that individual also serves as State Election Board Secretary.

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In response to increasingly poor economic indicators and a nationwide credit and mortgage crisis, a resolution filed by Sen. Constance Johnson and Rep. Jabar Shumate will encourage Congress to enact the Homeowners and Banks Protection Act (HBPA). Johnson filed a similar resolution in April, when economists were warning of an impending credit crunch and collapse in the housing market, but the Legislature failed to act on the proposal.

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Tulsa Senator Tom Adelson has recalculated the allocation of disproportionate share hospital (DSH) dollars consistent with the principles of taxpayer neutrality set forth by dueling editorials between the state's two largest newspapers.

The total amount available is distributed based on the number of qualifying patients served, rather than the existing formula. DSH is federal funding to safety net hospitals to help absorb the cost of uncompensated care.

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Senators Take Oath of Office

Newly elected and re-elected members of the Oklahoma State Senate took the oath of office on Tuesday in the Senate chamber. The oath was administered by the Honorable James Winchester, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Newly elected members sworn in were Jerry Ellis. D-Valliant; Jim Halligan, R-Stillwater; Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward; Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa; Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa; and Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City.

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Senate Republicans Elect Leadership Team

The new Republican majority in the Oklahoma State Senate elected the remaining members of the Republican Caucus leadership team on Tuesday.

Last week, Senate Republicans elected Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, to serve as the first Republican to serve in the Senate’s top leadership post, President Pro Tempore. Also last week, Coffee named Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, to serve as Majority Floor Leader.

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans elected these members of the leadership team:

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Senator Tom Adelson announced plans to file a bill to require the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to allocate Disproportionate Share Hospital Dollars based on the percentage of each hospital's Medicaid and charity care burden relative to the total statewide costs of inpatient uncompensated care.

The DSH program is a federal program that allows individual states to allocate DSH funds to safety net hospitals providing uncompensated care to the uninsured, the underinsured and Medicaid enrollees.

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State Capitol, Oklahoma City – The November elections that put Republicans in charge of the Oklahoma State Senate for the first time in state history will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings for Oklahoma taxpayers, according to a preliminary estimate by the Senate’s staff.

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State Senator Connie Johnson said she was elated by the tremendous turnout of voters seeking to cast early ballots this year, but wants to make it even more convenient for those taking advantage of that option. Because participation was so great, many voters had to endure extraordinarily long lines to vote. Johnson said thats why she is filing legislation to expand early voting hours during general elections.

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State Sen. Debbe Leftwich said she will again file legislation to prohibit elected officials and state employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists, as well as a measure to prevent elected officials from becoming lobbyists at the Capitol for the first two years theyre out of office.

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Senate Democrats have named Charlie Laster as their new leader. Sen. Kenneth Corn, Democratic Caucus Chairman, announced the selection on Monday.


Our members voted unanimously to install Charlie Laster as Democratic Senate Leader for the 52nd Legislature of Oklahoma, said Corn, D-Poteau. We all know Senator Laster as a man of courage, character and wisdom who will provide a voice of experience and solid leadership for our caucus.

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Oklahoma State Senate
President Pro Tempore DESIGNATE
Senator Glenn Coffee, ROklahoma City
State Capitol Room
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 30
0 23
For Immediate Release: November , 200
Senator Glenn Coffee read more.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Designate Glenn Coffee and Senate Republicans meet with the press corps followingTuesdays historic election in which the State Senate Republicans gained the majority in the State Senate for the first time in history.

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