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Press Releases

Showing: December, 1999

A controversial, cost-shifting education program drafted by the Governor's office will get a full review from a key legislative committee in the coming weeks, according to the leader of the Oklahoma State Senate.

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Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor
Senate President Pro Tempore

"No matter what face the Governor's office tries to put on it, I don't know anyone who thinks that cutting school lunches, cramming more kids into classrooms or firing teachers is going to improve our public schools. No other state has taken that approach because it's unbelievably bad policy. The report and its suggestions are just as crazy today as they were
yesterday."

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An educational version of the Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) launched in 1997 is being introduced by Senator Frank Shurden. The Henryetta Senator has authored a bill aimed at helping smaller and rural school districts in Oklahoma secure funding for capital improvements and updated equipment.

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Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor
Senate President Pro Tempore

"This may be Governor Keating's idea of a Christmas present to Oklahoma teachers, but it looks more like an April Fool's joke to me. It's really hard to give any proposal serious consideration that suggests funding teacher pay raises by cutting school lunches, packing more kids into the classroom and firing other teachers. I'd like to think of some charitable way to describe the report, but 'crazy' is about the only word that comes to mind."

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The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce is apparently endorsing a new regulatory program that could result in higher telephone bills for Oklahoma business customers.

The State Chamber's Richard Rush issued a press release Tuesday touting regulatory changes that Southwestern Bell is currently seeking. It also criticized an independent report commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate that raised a number of serious concerns about the regulatory plan.

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Governor Keating should ask his Republican colleagues in the U.S. Congress to restore funding they cut from Medicaid and Medicare before he attempts to raid Oklahoma's tobacco settlement fund to cover up their mistake, according to State Senator Jeff Rabon.

The Hugo legislator is taking exception to the Governor's plan to spend $42 million in tobacco funds on Medicaid reimbursements, noting that such an action would not be necessary if Governor Keating could convince his Republican colleagues in the nation's capital to address the problem they created.

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