OKLAHOMA CITY -Saying Oklahomans elected Frank Keating as Governor, not a bunch of "political bureaucrats," a Senate leader is urging the Governor to respond to issues on his own, rather than relying on his media staff to carry the message for him.
"I think Governor Keating owes the people of Oklahoma that much. They elected him to serve as Governor and they pay him $70,000 a year plus expenses to do it. They deserve to know where he stands and what he thinks about the issues of the day," said Senator Cal Hobson, Vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Thanks to a last minute veto handed down by Governor Keating, the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission will not be able to pay for track audits to ensure racing revenue is distributed properly, according to a state legislator.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - An analysis by the Senate Fiscal Staff indicates that public education was the biggest casualty of Governor Keating's last minute veto spree this year, accounting for almost two-thirds of the funding vetoed by the State Chief Executive.
"I'd like to say the findings were unexpected, but in light of Governor Keating's consistently dismal track record on public education, I'm not surprised at all," said Senator Cal Hobson, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice-chairman, who requested the fiscal analysis.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY -Governor Keating's veto of SB 1100 not only killed a series of school reforms, it also wiped out some $6 million in education funding --the entire budget for mandated teacher training programs-- a Senate budget leader discovered today. Ironically, part of that money would have been used to finance "Great Expectations," a teacher training program championed by Governor Keating.
The veto could ultimately force teachers to dip into their own pockets to pay for required training courses.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - A Senate budget leader is asking Governor Keating to explain why he vetoed a state employee severance package, noting that the Governor himself proposed and negotiated the final legislation, HB 2782.
"This was one of the main personnel reforms Governor Keating put forth in his executive budget. We worked closely with his advisers to make sure it was passed in the final days of the session. We gave him what he asked for and he vetoed it," said Senator Larry Dickerson, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Saying Governor Keating owes the parents of Oklahoma school children and teachers an explanation, a Senate education leader is asking the Governor to offer more specifics about his objections to a sweeping education reform bill.
"I think the people of Oklahoma have some legitimate questions about his veto," said Senator Don Williams, author of SB 1100, the education reform bill vetoed by Governor Keating on Friday. "A six or seven sentence veto message doesn't explain why he killed a major school reform measure."read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Saying a "misinformation campaign of sorts" has been conducted in recent days, a Senate budget leader is setting the record straight on the fate of community corrections and truth-in-sentencing legislation, and is promising to continue his efforts to increase compensation for sheriffs who participate in some kind of alternative sentencing program.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Saying Governor Keating's recent actions indicate that he is out of step with the average Oklahoman, a Senate budget leader is asking the State Chief Executive to explain why his vetoes aren't representative of Oklahoma's conservative values.
"When you're breathing new life into death row inmates at the same time you're cutting funding for education, economic development and ethics, I'd say you're out of step with the rest of Oklahoma," said Senator Kelly Haney, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY -Calling it "one of the top five dumb vetoes of all time," a Senate budget leader is taking exception to Governor Keating's veto of funding for a prison infirmary.
"This is like mailing an engraved invitation to the federal courts, asking them to take over our prison system," said Senator Cal Hobson, Vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "I'm sure Lou Bullock is licking his chops because this veto plays right into his hands.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY -Several rural Oklahoma communities and the Quality Jobs Program took it on the chin when Governor Keating handed down his latest vetoes, and those actions will jeopardize the state's ongoing economic development efforts, according to a Senate budget leader.
Keating wiped out appropriations for the Central Oklahoma Economic Development District, the Kiamichi Economic Development District and the Eastern Oklahoma Economic Development District. The funding was specifically earmarked for "promoting economic and community development" in those rural areas.read more.