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Senate Republicans Monday voted by acclamation Monday to re-elect Brian Bingman to the position of President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma state Senate. Bingman, R-Sapulpa, is now President Pro Tempore-Designate for the 54th Legislature. Bingman continues to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore through the end of the 53rd Legislature in 2012. Majority Leader Mike Schulz said Bingman has been an effective leader as lawmakers have worked to promote Oklahoma’s economic recovery with a pro-jobs agenda.
The Senate gave unanimous approval to House Bill 2396, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Wade Rousselot, to better protect victims of domestic violence by increasing protective orders from three to five years. The measure would also allow lifetime protective orders in certain cases.
State Sen. John Ford said he is gratified that Oklahoma is continuing to pursue ways to further ensure the integrity of the state’s election process. Ford, who represents Washington, Nowata and northern Rogers counties, was the author of a state question requiring voters to provide identification when casting their ballots. The proposed law was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2010.
On Monday, the Senate added two more paintings to its diverse collection of artwork depicting famous Oklahomans and special events in the state’s history. The newest additions depict two of Oklahoma’s most famous Wild West Show personalities, Gordon “Pawnee Bill” Lillie and Lucille Mulhall.
The portraits, by Tulsa artist Tracey Harris, were sponsored by Bob Funk and commissioned by the State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc.
The State Senate honored the Oklahoma State University Cowgirls Basketball Team Thursday for their outstanding 2012 season capped by winning the Women's National Invitation Tournament for the first time in school history. A resolution was approved congratulating the team for their courage and perseverance following the tragic plane crash involving head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna along with OSU alumni, pilot and former Oklahoma State Senator Olin Branstetter and his wife, Paula on November 17, 2011. read more.
Businesswoman AJ Griffin is officially on the job as the Senate’s newest member. Griffin was elected in a special election held April 3 to fill the District 20 seat, which includes Logan, Noble, Pawnee and Kingfisher counties.
“It is a humbling experience to stand in the Senate Chamber, hand on the Bible and realize the tremendous responsibility the citizens have entrusted to me, but I am also honored by that trust and excited about working with constituents and my fellow senators to help move our state forward,” said Griffin, R-Guthrie.
Sen. Gary Stanislawski said a bill allowing access to statistical data about drug prescriptions has been approved by both chambers and is one step closer to becoming law.
Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, is principal author of Senate Bill 1065, which deals with the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The database is maintained by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) to track prescriptions of specific types of drugs, like Vicodin.read more.