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Showing: February, 2009

Tax relief could soon be on its way for Oklahoma military families following unanimous approval of legislation by the State Senate Thursday to provide an income tax exemption for serving military personnel. Sen Steve Russell, a retired Army infantryman and combat veteran, is author of Senate 881 and believes his bill would not only help military families, but the state’s economy.

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Sen. Russell discusses his bill to provide income tax exemption to Oklahoma serving military.

The State Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday to help save Oklahoma's counties and municipalities thousands of dollars that are lost each year through the vandalism of signs and other property. Senate Bill 348, by Sen. David Myers, would allow counties and municipalities to offer higher rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals for such crimes.
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Sen. Myers explains his bill to help prevent county property vandalism.

The State Senate approved legislation Thursday to help prepare the state Capitol for its second century. The building will celebrate the centennial of its official opening in 2017, but Sen. Harry Coates is concerned that years of poor maintenance could keep the structure from being habitable in its second century.
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Sen. Debbe Leftwich's argument in support of SB 482 to help fix the Capitol and Sen. Coates' closing remarks on why his Capitol preservation bill is needed.

More Oklahoma students could qualify for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP) under legislation approved Thursday by the Senate. SB 354, by Sen. David Myers, would modify the state tuition program by allowing the income requirement to be based on a family’s yearly salary or a three-year average.
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Sen. Myers' explains bill allowing three year average of income for OHLAP.

Legislation by Sen. Randy Brogdon calling for the end of federal mandates and programs that usurp states’ rights is gaining national attention. The Owasso Republican said Senate Joint Resolution 10 has struck a chord, not only with Oklahomans, but with people from around the country. The Washington Post, Washington Times, the Boston Globe and Reuters are among the many news organizations that have interviewed Brogdon about SJR 10. Brogdon said Congress has overstepped its powers as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and eroded the sovereignty of individual states.

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Sen. Brogdon discusses SJR 10 and states' rights.

State Senator Steve Russell has won support in the Senate for a bill to create more uniformity in adoptions and ensure full disclosure of fees. Senate Bill 1029, by Sen. Steve Russell, was approved unanimously Thursday. Russell, R-Oklahoma City, is an adoptive parent, and said the measure could actually result in lower costs for private adoptions.

Russell noted that a grand jury investigation had exposed instances of financial exploitation of Oklahomans who were seeking private adoptions.
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Sen. Russell explains adoption disclosure bill.
Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee's Weekly Q & A with reporters (4th week)

The federal stimulus package will soften the effects of the recession on Oklahoma's budget for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. That's according to Senate Appropriations Chairman Mike Johnson following a committee briefing for the full Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

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Sen. Mike Johnson discusses stimulus briefing.

Senators Constance N. Johnson, Judy Eason McIntyre and other members of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus announced at the state Capitol on Wednesday that the group has filed a complaint of discrimination against the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

The group’s letter to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation cites substantial evidence of past and continuing discrimination against racial and ethnic minority owned, and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses and contractors.

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Press Conference - Sen. Constance Johnson, Rep. Jabar Shumate and Rep. Anastasia Pittman discuss the complaint against ODOT.

State Sen. Randy Brogdon has received unanimous approval for a measure linking drug testing as a condition of eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. The measure was approved by the full Senate on Wednesday. Brogdon, R-Owasso, said the measure would ultimately strengthen families by getting those addicted to drugs into treatment.
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Sen. Brogdon on bill requiring drug testing for welfare recipients.