Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor, President Pro Tempore
"I hope the rapid pace of the final days doesn't overshadow the accomplishments we made this year. We gave teachers and state employees a much-needed boost in pay, established a tobacco trust fund for the benefit of future generations, financed a continuing highway construction program and gave Oklahoma motorists an opportunity for some long overdue relief
from the high cost of car tags. I think if you told anybody back in February that we would accomplish all of those things and more by the end of May, they would have told you that it was a very productive session."
"I think it was a very successful session, no matter what the Monday morning quarterbacks say. We didn't hit every issue out of the park, but then no one ever does in a single year, whether it's in the public or private sector. We'll take the hits we made, move on down the road and take another swing next year."
"I know Governor Keating will be tempted to criticize all of the things that didn't get done because that's just his nature. When it benefits him politically, the Governor likes to play the pessimist, always seeing the glass as half empty instead of half full. If he really makes an honest appraisal of the Legislature's work without putting a partisan slant on it, I think he'll admit that we made some great progress, even if the programs adopted weren't all of his ideas."
"The Governor wasn't for a teacher or state employee pay hike, but he ultimately agreed to sign on to the programs. He wanted to cut veterans and raise class sizes, but ultimately dropped those ideas. I commend him for those changes of heart."
"Without question, however, I think Governor Keating's biggest blunder was his veto of car tag relief. He basically told Oklahomans who wanted affordable tags to take a hike and wait until next year. Fortunately, we were able to bypass the Governor and put the question on a statewide ballot
in August. I think that vote will illustrate just how out of touch Governor Keating is with the average Oklahoman when it comes to the issue of car tags."