Senate Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, the leader of Republicans in the evenly divided Senate, gave the 2008 legislative session a “solid B” grade.
“2008 was a good legislative session, but not a great one. I’d grade it a solid B,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.
“Senate Republicans accomplished many of our major goals, such as providing more funds to repair Oklahoma’s dilapidated roads and creating an Office of Accountability and Innovation to make government more efficient. We passed a significant ethics reform bill that bans lobbyists from making campaign contributions during a legislative session, and we helped protect the public from criminals by fully funding state prisons. Senate Republicans led the way in overriding the governor’s veto of bipartisan legislation to protect the unborn,” Coffee said.
“Unfortunately, the Senate Democrats sent several good reforms to the political graveyard this year, including protecting the integrity of elections through voter identification, establishing term limits for statewide officials, and reining in lawsuit abuse.”
“Additionally, Senate Republicans successfully passed conservative legislation through the Senate to slow property tax growth, expand charter schools, provide scholarships to low income students at at-risk schools, and allow local control for the selection of public school textbooks. These bills didn’t make it out of the House of Representatives, but the Senate will lead the way next year to enact these important reforms,” Coffee said.
“We’re very hopeful that the people of Oklahoma will add some new Republican senators to the State Senate this November so we can make more progress on our forward-thinking policies and reforms to make Oklahoma a more prosperous and secure place to raise a family, start a business, get a good job, and retire.”
Coffee thanked his Democrat counterpart, Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan of Stillwater, for working hard to make the power-sharing agreement a success for the past two years.
“While Sen. Morgan and I have had our share of disagreements about public policy, he has been an outstanding partner in making sure the power-sharing agreement was a success in a tied Senate,” Coffee said.