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Senate Republican Rural Caucus Members Announce Vision for Rural Oklahoma

Sen. Justice and other Republican Rural Caucus members discuss agenda.

Members of the Oklahoma State Senate’s Republican Rural Caucus released today their policy agenda for the 2008 legislative session, which includes their “Vision for Improving the Quality of Life in Rural Oklahoma.”

The Republican Rural Caucus’ agenda calls for more funding for county roads and bridges, opposing forced school consolidation, attracting and keeping physicians in rural Oklahoma, among others.

“As senators who represent a number of rural communities, we understand the significance tied to rural Oklahoma,” said Senator Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, Republican Rural Caucus Chairman. “The success and livelihood of rural Oklahoma directly affects our entire state. Our vision for the 2008 legislative session echoes this thought and aims to bring support to rural families and businesses.”

“We as rural senators experience first hand the quality of Oklahoma’s resources,” said Senator Owen Laughlin, Republican Floor Leader. “Water is a necessary resource. We must find ways to increase the amount and quality of water.”

The Republican Rural Caucus vision includes:
• Dedicating more motor vehicle taxes and fees to the improvement of county roads and bridges.
• Opposing any legislation that requires the forced consolidation of public schools.
• Immediately eliminating Oklahoma’s Death Tax, instead of its current date of elimination, 2010.
• Ensuring the protection of personal property rights in dealing with land and water.
• Modernizing the slow, archaic trucking permit system to help keep the state’s valuable resources moving.
• Improving access to healthcare by attracting and keeping physicians in rural Oklahoma, and by protecting the financial viability of rural hospitals and ambulance services.

The Republican Rural Caucus is made up of 11 members: Senators Ron Justice of Chickasha, District 23; Patrick Anderson of Enid, District 19; Don Barrington of Lawton, District 31; Harry Coates of Seminole, District 28; John Ford of Bartlesville, District 29; Mike Johnson of Kingfisher, District 22; Todd Lamb of Edmond, District 47; Owen Laughlin of Woodward, District 27; David Myers of Ponca City, District 20; Mike Schulz of Altus, District 38; Anthony Sykes of Newcastle, District 24. The purpose of the Republican Rural Caucus is to provide a voice for the citizens of rural, small town Oklahoma and promote their issues at the State Capitol.

For more information contact:
Senator Justice's Office - (405) 521-5537