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Senator Taylor Comments on Rush, Chamber Grandstanding

Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor, Senate President Pro Tempore

"Dick Rush and the Chamber know how the legislative process works. When a bill is defeated in committee, it is dead for the session. Their performance has more to do with politics than anything else."

"If the State Chamber is really interested in right to work, I would encourage it to launch an initiative petition drive on the subject. That approach worked for supporters of pari-mutuel racing, liquor by the drink, cockfighting and a half-a-dozen other issues so there's certainly nothing stopping right to work backers from doing the same thing."

"If it doesn't launch a petition drive, it will be confirmation that the State Chamber is more interested in using right to work as a political wedge issue than it is in resolving the question at the polls. Given the fact that it hasn't launched a petition drive in the 36 years since Oklahoma's last statewide vote on right to work, most knowledgeable observers doubt the State Chamber's commitment to this issue."

"I suspect Dick and the State Chamber are just trying to make amends with some newspaper editorial writers. They recently took him to task for not being a strong enough proponent of right to work and it apparently bothered Dick enough to spur him into action. After being AWOL on right to work for years, he's now writing letters to the editor and holding press conferences to get back in the good graces of the powers that be."

"Now that someone has lit a fire under him, we can only hope that he'll get a little more active on important business issues. Maybe next time the State Chamber will join the Senate when it fights for lower workers compensation rates before the State Property and Casualty Board, instead of quietly supporting a rate hike like he did last year. Maybe the State Chamber will drop the State Insurance Fund lawsuit that is currently holding up $150 million in insurance rebates for Oklahoma businesses."

"The State Chamber should take the advice of the Shawnee Sun newspaper: 'Butt out and try something constructive such as leading a petition drive on right to work.'"

Contact info
Senate Communications Division - (405) 521-5605