Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor, President Pro Tempore
"Governor Keating is obviously afraid of what the voters will say come August. I think he fears that the election may turn out to be a referendum on him, just like the lottery was on David Walters. Given the unpopularity of his tag vetoes, I don't think Governor Keating would like the result of that kind of public opinion survey anymore than David Walters did. Governor Keating certainly doesn't want a resounding repudiation of his leadership skills at a time when he's trying so hard to land a job with George Bush Jr. in Washington DC."
"I think the voters will have the final say on meaningful tag reform, not Governor Keating. He had his chance to deliver tag relief, but he blew it, not once but twice. I don't think we should waste taxpayers' money on a special session just so the Governor can have one more chance to correct
his previous mistakes on tag reform and boost his sagging approval ratings."
"I would also point out to the Governor that the tag referendum was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support, passing 94-6 in the House and 43-0 in the Senate."
"On the issue of workers comp reform, neither the Governor nor anyone else has been able to present any proof that the proposed changes would actually save any money. Even the insurance industry has issued a letter saying it can't project any savings. The Governor is also going against the wishes of the Advisory Council on Workers Compensation (The panel is appointed by the Governor, the Senate President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House). Its members recommended unanimously that a task force be appointed to study the issue because there are too many unanswered questions about the bill. I think the Governor's interest in workers compensation is motivated more by politics than policy, otherwise he would be heeding the
advice of the experts."
"If Governor Keating is really interested in a special session on policy issues, I would challenge him to schedule it for the same week as the Republican National Convention in August. Then we'll find out if he cares more about improving Oklahoma or getting a job in Washington DC where his heart is."