Press Releases

Showing: December, 2009

When the New Year begins at midnight, a new law takes effect that its author says will speed refunds to Oklahoma taxpayers.

Senate Bill 11, by Senator Jay Paul Gumm, was passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor during the 2009 session of the Oklahoma Legislature. The measure requires the Oklahoma Tax Commission to make speedy refunds to taxpayers, or pay the same interest to taxpayers that taxpayers would have to pay on delinquent tax payments.

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OKLAHOMA CITYIncoming Senate Democratic Leader Andrew Rice said budget numbers certified today by the Board of Equalization prove that Republicans have not delivered on their economic promises to Oklahomans who put their trust in them when they voted to turn over control of the Legislature to Republicans beginning in 2004.

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Coffee Calls Bill a Christmas Catastrophe

OKLAHOMA CITYLeft to its own devices, the heath care reform bill the US Senate is about to pass would cause catastrophic repercussions to Oklahomas state budget in good times, said Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, but added to our already $1 billion budget hole, the consequences could prove cataclysmic.
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Given the reality of our state financial condition as certified by the State Equalization Board today, Im ready to continue the discussions weve been having with Governor Henry and Speaker Benge and our leadership teams, and make some hard but necessary decisions. At this point, no agreements have been made beyond January, so I look forward to moving forward with the framework we now have before us.

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OKLAHOMA CITY: According to figures I have reviewed from the Office of State Finance and the reports from Treasurer Meacham today, the state's financial numbers confirm the budget challenge we have long said we'd be facing is indeed upon us.

One year ago, the State Equalization Board certified an FY'10 budget for the Legislature that proved to be18.5% below actual revenues. This estimate missed the mark by a greater percentage than any state in the nation.

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State Sen. Kenneth Corn on Monday issued the following statement on the passing of Joe Paul Hemphill, former Howe High School Principal, Vice President for Student Affairs at Carl Albert State College and State Regent for Regional Colleges:

Joe Paul Hemphill was uniquely Oklahoman, and he embodied the very values and spirit that make our state grand.

He was a big man in stature, and had a heart for everyone he met. He was a longtime educator who helped instill a love of learning in the lives of countless young people.

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Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa) today issued the following statement regarding the passing of Oral Roberts:

“Today the world mourns the passing of a great man, a great leader and a great mentor, who leaves behind an indelible legacy of ministry and service.

His impact stretched beyond the boundaries of our state to every corner of the world. Age never diminished his passion for the gospel. He finished the race with zeal, and in a manner befitting a man of his tremendous character and unwavering faith.

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GOP does nothing to prevent dangerous public safety budget cuts
Death Penalty exists in Oklahoma because of Democrats

Oklahoma’s Republican Senate Majority Leader and his fellow GOP legislators are gutting law enforcement agencies by refusing to deal immediately with dangerous levels of budget cuts – cuts that are beginning to endanger public safety, one of the state’s leading law enforcement advocates said today.

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Senate Majority Floor Leader Todd Lamb (R-Edmond) pointed to a fellow Senator’s call for the abolishment of the Death Penalty in Oklahoma as clear evidence of one major difference between the two parties when it comes to public safety.

“The difference between Republicans and Democrats couldn’t be more stark on public safety issues, given the suggestion today by a Democrat State Senator that the state of Oklahoma abolish the death penalty,” read more.

Sen. Constance N. Johnson announced at a state Capitol press conference on Monday her intention to renew efforts to repeal the death penalty in Oklahoma. Johnson said both economic and ethical concerns make this the right time for the state to reopen dialogue on abolishing the death penalty.

Oklahoma has executed the third-highest number of prisoners since 1976, when the Supreme Court permitted the death penalty to resume.

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State Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso) called today for the governor and state leaders to exercise fiscal responsibility and common sense when dealing with the state’s budget woes.

Brogdon also cautioned using stimulus funds and raiding the Rainy Day Fund to fill the budget holes.

“There’s no such thing as free money,” Brogdon said. “These stimulus dollars have strings attached and the noose is tightening around the future generations – our children and grandchildren.”

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Oklahoma can and should do a better job of helping vulnerable children with existing resources—that’s according to State Sen. Jay Paul Gumm who announced he has reintroduced legislation to create Oklahoma’s first-ever Children’s Cabinet. His measure had bipartisan support last year, winning unanimous approval in the Senate, but was never given a hearing in the House of Representatives.
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