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Press Releases

Showing: May, 1996

OKLAHOMA CITY - Hailing it as one of the most productive meetings in recent history, legislative leaders officially adjourned the 45th session of the Oklahoma Legislature today.

"This was the most pro-business, pro-education session that I've ever been involved with," said Senator Stratton Taylor. "We covered the waterfront on a variety of economic development initiatives, from tax cuts to education investments. The things we did this session will produce dividends for years to come.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -Even though he proposed budget increases for the Attorney General's office and the Indigent Defense system in his executive budget, Governor Keating has vetoed those appropriations, an action that will further slow the death penalty process, according to a Senate budget leader.

"In effect, Governor Keating has given our death row inmates a new lease on life. That's the simplest way to explain the impact of his vetoes," said Senator Cal Hobson, Vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -Governor Keating is itching to veto a record appropriation for higher education, but because he doesn't have the guts to pull the trigger, he's yanking pay raises from state employees, according to a Senate leader.

"Governor Keating has exhibited a hostile attitude toward higher education from the day he stepped into office. He would like nothing better than to veto the higher education investment approved by the Legislature, but he doesn't have the guts," said Senator Kelly Haney, Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Keating has vetoed his own budget again, killing additional agency appropriations that he proposed in his executive budget, according to a Senate budget leader.

The Governor has vetoed increases for the Attorney General, the ABLE Commission, Indigent Defense and the Oklahoma Tax Commission, even though he proposed increases for those agencies in his executive budget.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -Statement from Senator Larry Dickerson, Senate Author of the state employee pay raise bill

"I want to congratulate our Governor on setting a new standard. Having mastered the art of double-talk, he's now employing triple-talk to try to explain his flip-flop on the state employee pay raise.

First, he said he was for pay raises, then he vetoed the funding for them, now he tells state employees not to worry because they'll get their money. He's done more flip-flops than Nadia Comenci and Bart Conner combined.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -Oklahoma should concentrate on improving services such as education instead of cutting taxes if it wants to improve the state's economic fortunes, according to a visiting economist.

Dr. Steven Gold, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and nationally known economist, testified before the Senate Education Committee today.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -The Oklahoma Legislature is making good on its promise to deliver targeted tax incentives to the state's energy industry, reaching final agreement on legislation that will help preserve Oklahoma's existing oil and gas infrastructure.

"We've made a concerted effort to keep one of Oklahoma's most important industries alive and profitable," said Senator Stratton Taylor, President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate. "We don't want to see any more energy jobs lost or another well plugged because of an unrealistic tax code."

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Permanent Midterm Fix Enacted

OKLAHOMA CITY - After months of hard work and sometimes contentious debate, a permanent solution for the annual midterm funding problems has been enacted into law. Governor Keating officially signed HB 2055 today.

"Basically, we've done away with an annual headache that's plagued both our growing schools and state lawmakers," said Senator Don Williams, one of the chief architects of HB 2055. "We've created a system that will get our schools the money when they need it, making it easier for them to budget and meet the needs of their students."

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The leaders of the Oklahoma House and Senate have announced a final agreement on property tax reform legislation, saying the resulting package will provide Oklahoma homeowners with an additional layer of protection against "unfair and excessive property tax increases."

The legislation will be voted on this week, either Wednesday or Thursday.

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Statement from Senator Stratton Taylor, President Pro Tem:

"I'm continually astounded at the amount of taxpayers money Governor Keating is willing to waste in his attempt to get his hands on as much power as possible. If he carries through with his threat to file yet another expensive lawsuit, no one will suffer more than the Oklahoma taxpayer. The Governor should admit defeat gracefully and move on, instead of attempting to stick taxpayers with another large legal tab.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -Oklahoma should concentrate on improving services such as education instead of cutting taxes if it wants to improve the state's economic fortunes, according to a visiting economist.

Dr. Steven Gold, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and nationally known economist, testified before the Senate Education Committee today.

read more.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Saying the Oklahoma Supreme Court "has stopped Governor Keating's power grab dead in its tracks," Senator Darryl Roberts is applauding the high court for a dismissing a lawsuit that would have given the Governor unprecedented control over state appointments and pension systems.

"The message from the court was pretty clear. The Governor's power grab is illegal, no matter what kind of face he tries to put on it," said Senator Roberts.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - American Airlines has decided to restore jet service between Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth, according to two leaders of the Oklahoma Senate.

"We have it on good authority that the official announcement will be forthcoming very soon," said Senator Stratton Taylor, President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate. "This is going to be a great boost to our economic development efforts."

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OKLAHOMA CITY -Oklahoma should concentrate on improving services such as education instead of cutting taxes if it wants to improve the state's economic fortunes, according to a visiting economist.

Dr. Steven Gold, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and nationally known economist, testified before the Senate Education Committee today.

read more.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Keating's Transportation Secretary has been "shooting from the lip with little regard to accuracy" in his recent attacks on a legislative program for roads and highways, according to a Senate budget leader.

"I'm really surprised to see this kind of misinformation coming from Neal McCaleb," said Senator Larry Dickerson, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation. "He knows what the real budget numbers are, but at Governor Keating's direction, he's deliberately trying to mislead Oklahomans on this point."

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Saying he's glad "Governor Keating has finally seen the light," a Senate leader is congratulating the State Chief Executive for recognizing Oklahoma's many economic attributes in the State Department of Commerce's new business recruitment site on the Internet.

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Statement from Senator Cal Hobson, Senate Appropriations Vice-chairman:

"I'm glad Governor Keating has started to follow the legislative process, but I wish he would follow it a little more closely before he issues his next erroneous press release on the progress of tax reduction initiatives.

For example, the proposed tax cut on marginal wells is not 'stuck' in conference committee as Governor Keating believes, it has been reported out for floor action.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Saying Oklahoma's continued economic growth has cleared the way for an even larger unemployment tax cut, State Senator Lewis Long is expanding legislation that would reduce the unemployment taxes existing Oklahoma businesses pay.

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