Press Releases

Showing: January, 2009

Senators Want to focus on the Economy, Health Care and Education to Build a Brighter Future for all Oklahomans

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The Republican majority looks forward to working with Senator Laster and his leadership team to move Oklahoma forward, even in this challenging fiscal environment in which will operate this session.

As I experienced in the minority, good ideas are not the sole domain of the majority. As I pledged on Senate organizational day, we will give a fair hearing to those ideas and proposals that will help grow our state, keep it safe and educated, build a stronger business climate, protect our families, and empower Oklahomans to prosper.

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The State Agency Analysis Shows an Impact of 1% or Less

Sen. Jay Paul Gumm on Friday announced that another analysis of Nick’s Law shows that the proposal will have a minimal impact on insurance costs.

The Oklahoma State Education Employees Group Insurance Board this week released the findings of their study, which showed an impact to claims of 1 percent or less. Gumm said these findings are in line with those in a comprehensive study by Jim Bouder, which was presented to the Legislature in May.

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Sen. Randy Brogdon has authored a measure to block any efforts to relocate prisoners from the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay to Oklahoma. Thats after President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the prison within a year. Brogdon said previous locations considered for inmates have included Fort Sill in southwestern Oklahoma. He said it is critical for the State Legislature to back efforts by Oklahomas Congressional delegation to stop that from happening.

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Barrington to Expand Sales Tax Holiday
Oklahoma families see relief, economy given boost

Senator Don Barrington, R-Lawton, announced he is authoring Senate Bill 723 that will expand his successful Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday to include school supplies and reference materials.

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Members of the Oklahoma State Senate’s Republican Rural Caucus released today their policy agenda for the 2009 legislative session, entitled their “Vision for Improving the Quality of Life in Rural Oklahoma.”

The Senate Republican Rural Caucus’ agenda calls for protecting agricultural tax exemptions, improving access to healthcare professionals and facilities in rural Oklahoma, opposing forced school consolidation, and providing more funding for county roads and bridges.

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Ford Files Voter ID Bill
Legislation calls for clean and fair elections

Senator John Ford, R-Bartlesville, has introduced legislation that will help protect the integrity of the election system in Oklahoma.

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State Sen. Dan Newberry has filed legislation to strengthen the state’s laws on business data protection. SB 1013 adds copying customer lists and business records without authorization to the state’s criminal statutes concerning larceny of trade secrets.
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Sen. Randy Brogdon and Rep. Eric Proctor have filed legislation to end Oklahoma’s state sales tax on groceries by July 1, 2009. Brogdon, R-Owasso, is the principal author of Senate Bill 600, which would end the 4.5 percent state sales tax on groceries. The tax exemption would not apply to alcohol or tobacco products since they are taxed at the wholesale level.
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Coffee Cuts Red Tape on Organ Donation
Anatomical Gift Act Helps Save Lives

Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee introduced his Uniform Anatomical Gift Act that will aid in making the process of organ donation more efficient and more accessible.

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, Senate Bill 622, mirrors similar laws in various states that help families throughout the nation receive vital organs for their loved ones.

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Senator Jim Reynolds (R-OKC), will sponsor legislation offering property tax relief to Oklahoma homeowners in the 2009 legislative session. Reynolds’ bill will cap the annual increase in property taxes at 2.5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, effective January, 2010.

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Noting the increase in domestic violence in our culture and the necessity to assure the rights and protection of victims of such acts, Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee will offer two important pieces of legislation in the upcoming legislative session to address victims’ concerns.

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Education Chair Wants Accountability, Empowered Local Districts, Parental Choice

As Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, State Senator John Ford said Tuesday that education reforms are needed to move Oklahoma’s education system forward.

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Bill to Cover Oklahoma Families Participating in Clinical Trials

State Senator Andrew Rice (D-OKC) announced today that he and other members of the Senate Democratic caucus, in their continued effort to hold insurance companies accountable, will re-introduce "Steffanie's Law," in hopes the Republican controlled Legislature will give the idea a second look in a non-election year.
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Bill Filing Ends for 2009 Session

Bill filing has ended for the 2009 legislative session. Thursday, January 15 was the deadline for members of the Oklahoma State Senate to file legislation for the first session of the 52nd Legislature. Senators filed 1,240 bills and 42 joint resolutions for the upcoming session. In 2008, the Senate considered 1,069 new bills as well as 31 new joint resolutions. In 2007, a total of 1,130 bills and 32 joint resolutions were filed by members of the Senate.

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Each year, more than 17,000 Americans are killed by drunk drivers including approximately 275 Oklahomans and around 1.5 million drunk drivers are arrested according the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Having lost a loved-one in 2008 at the hands of a drunk driver, Sen. Harry Coates has filed legislation to strengthen the penalties against these individuals in hopes that other families won’t have to suffer like his and so many other families have.

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This week’s tragic murders of an El Reno woman and her four children are stark reminders of Oklahoma’s domestic violence problem, said State Sen. Debbe Leftwich. The Oklahoma City Democrat says the time has come to pass tougher penalties for domestic abuse.
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Thursday, January 15 marks the deadline for members of the Oklahoma State Senate to file legislation for the 2009 session, the first of the 52nd Legislature. By 5 p.m., 1,054 bills and 35 joint resolutions had been filed, with staff members expected to work into the evening filing the final measures. In 2008, the Senate considered 1,069 new bills as well as 31 new joint resolutions. In 2007, a total of 1,130 bills and 32 joint resolutions were filed by members of the Senate.

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Counties spend thousands of dollars each year replacing and repairing vandalized signs and other property. To help deter vandals and assist county governments in their efforts to address this type of crime, State Sen. David Myers has authored Senate Bill 348.
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