Republicans in the evenly divided Oklahoma State Senate unveiled their 2007 legislative agenda – titled a “Vision for a Better Oklahoma” – at news conferences in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Lawton on Wednesday.
“Today we’re presenting our vision for making Oklahoma a superior state in which to live and raise a family, receive an excellent education, work at a quality job, succeed in business, and comfortably retire,” stated Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, the Senate’s co-President Pro Tempore.
“Our ‘Vision for a Better Oklahoma’ focuses on four policy areas where we believe we can enact changes and reforms to make Oklahoma a better state: education, jobs and the economy, health care, and public safety,” said Senate Republican Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward.
“The historic 24 to 24 tie in the Oklahoma Senate gives Republicans an unprecedented and equal voice the Senate’s legislative process. Republicans will use our co-equal status in the Senate to fight for policies that help move Oklahoma forward in the 21st-Century,” stated Senator James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, the Senate’s Republican leader emeritus.
Senate Republicans will pursue policy initiatives in four key areas as part of their “Vision for a Better Oklahoma” program:
- An Educated Oklahoma: Senate Republicans believe Oklahoma children deserve superior schools and that we can obtain outstanding results by requiring excellence in our schools. Senate Republicans will seek to toughen standards and increase accountability in our schools, and will work to fix the Teacher Retirement System.
- A Growing Oklahoma: Senate Republicans want to bring economic opportunity to Oklahoma. We will demand financial accountability and eliminate wasteful spending in government. Senate Republicans will work to foster a job-rich environment by fighting for real lawsuit reform, comprehensive workers’ compensation reform, and a reduced tax burden on Oklahoma families.
- A Healthy Oklahoma: Senate Republicans believe every Oklahoman should have access to affordable, quality healthcare. Senate Republicans will fight to keep and attract doctors to Oklahoma, for free-market health care cost reductions, and will work to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
- A Safe Oklahoma: Senate Republicans are committed to the safety of all Oklahomans by protecting our most vulnerable citizens. Senate Republicans will work to continue to fix our roads and bridges, protect seniors and children from sex offenders, and strengthen laws against illegal immigration.