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Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor, President Pro Tempore Pro Tem Comments on Keating OSEEGIB Veto

"Governor Keating's veto is disappointing, but it is certainly consistent with the shabby treatment he's accorded state employees, retirees and teachers throughout his administration. He had the ability to offset a devastating premium hike with a stroke of his pen, but instead he chose to pull the rug out from under thousands of families who are struggling to make ends meet. The fact that he's vetoed not one, but two bills on this subject speaks volumes about his attitude toward them.

He's really kicked them twice with today's action. First with the veto and then by suggesting the use of general revenue for what is clearly a one-time expenditure. When he says he wants to use general revenue, Governor Keating is really saying he wants to raid the same pool of money that will fund state employee pay raises and our public schools. He's giving with one hand and taking away with the other. That kind of budget sleight-of-hand isn't fair to state employees or their families, and it isn't in the best interest of the state of Oklahoma.

Governor Keating really didn't need to waste all that ink in his veto message, trumping up imaginary issues to attempt to justify his action. He could have cut to the chase by simply saying he's not interested in the financial hardships of state employees, but he doesn't mind using them as a political football for his own partisan goals."

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