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Press Releases

Showing: December, 2003
Taylor Apologizes For Letter

“I have two children ages 8 and 10. I have often told them that words can hurt, whether or not they are intentional. And, if they do hurt someone, I have taught them to apologize.

“This is what I’m doing now. I am apologizing for a letter I recently wrote that unintentionally hurt my fellow Oklahomans.

“I have always strived to represent my constituents and their values with integrity and honor and I intend to continue to do so for the remainder of my term. However, I can make a mistake and, to quote a former U.S. Senator, “when I do, it’s a doozy.”

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Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson has announced the appointment of Donna K. Windel of Ardmore to the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.

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Governor Brad Henry: "The thing I don't like about it right now is that we are dwelling on this (Stratton Taylor) letter and this (Wall Street Journal) editorial when we ought to be talking about how do we get past that; what are our challenges and let's address those head-on." – Tulsa World, 12-23-03

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State Senator Kathleen Wilcoxson and State Representative Thad Balkman said recent reports reflecting poor math scores by Oklahoma high school students show the need for the public to decide whether the office of state superintendent should be appointed by the governor rather than elected.

“Out of 44,000 Oklahoma high school students, only 22 percent were proficient in algebra. That means more than three-fourths don’t have the math skills they need for college. This is further proof that we cannot afford the status quo any longer,” said Senator Wilcoxson, R-OKC.

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More Jobs, or More Lawyers?

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – A letter to national trial lawyers by State Senator Stratton Taylor, D-Claremore, that advertised Oklahoma as a great place to file lawsuits is a major blow to the state’s job recruitment efforts, Republican legislative leaders said today.

Taylor’s letter received some unwanted national attention in a December 19 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, which was highly critical of Oklahoma’s pro-lawyer tort (lawsuit) system.

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Statement by Sen. Stratton Taylor

"Just as we know a new year is upon us, so, too, is the partisan political season. Many in this same group of Senators, on a regular basis in their private law practices, have contacted lawyers from out of state, offering their services.

Our law firm has a long history of representing Texas clients, both corporate and individual, as plaintiffs and defendants in Oklahoma. We, on a regular basis, contact Texas lawyers who represent both plaintiffs and defendants indicating that we are willing to work with them in the event they have legal matters in Oklahoma.

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Pfc. Shelly Daniels received a special senate citation today from Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City, and Rep. Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, during a ceremony at the American Red Cross Cherokee Strip Chapter headquarters in her hometown of Blackwell.

In October, Daniels and two other members of her U.S. Army unit were on patrol in Baghdad when they were injured during a rocket attack on their Humvee. Daniels received wounds in her left shoulder and collarbone, suffered a collapsed lung and was temporarily paralyzed. She is now recovering at home in Blackwell.

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Senator Leftwich Sworn In

State Senator Debbe Leftwich is officially on the job. This afternoon, Leftwich was sworn in as the newest member of the Oklahoma State Senate.

The South Oklahoma City Democrat won the seat in a special election last week, succeeding her husband Keith who lost his battle to cancer in September.

Family members, friends and supporters looked on while State Supreme Court Justice Marian Opala administered the oath of office to Senator Leftwich during a ceremony in the senate chamber.

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A proposal that would raise the state's fuel taxes to generate funds for road repair would likely be sent to a vote of the people in the next general election, according to Sen. Robert Milacek, R-Enid.

Milacek, who plans to propose legislation this session that would raise fuel taxes gradually over several years, requested an opinion on revenue-raising bills from the office of Attorney General Drew Edmondson earlier this year.

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Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Stratton Taylor, D-Claremore, is asking Secretary of Transportation and Oklahoma Transportation Authority head, Phil Tomlinson, for answers on a poor performance during Wednesday’s snow storm.

“I personally drove the Creek Turnpike that day and OTA, in my mind, got a failing grade,” said Taylor. “The section between Highway 169 and Highway 75, which is the most traveled portion of the turnpike, was in absolutely terrible condition at 9 a.m., and appeared to have had minimal, if any, maintenance work performed on it.”

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State Senator Kathleen Wilcoxson and State Representative Thad Balkman have filed legislation calling for a statewide vote to allow future Oklahoma governors to appoint the state school superintendent. Currently, that position is an elected, statewide office.

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(NORMAN) Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson said Thursday he is “humbled and honored” by the designation of the new Cleveland County Health Department facility as the Cal Hobson Center.

The new $4 million center, which located on 12th Avenue SE in Norman, held an open house Thursday afternoon in conjunction with ceremonies honoring the 25-year legislative veteran from nearby Lexington.

Hobson said there are many others worthy of praise – including the 87 employees of the Cleveland County Health Department.

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State Capitol, Oklahoma City – Senate Republicans today challenged Governor Brad Henry to stand with the people of Oklahoma against recent liberal court rulings across the nation.

“We would like to know if he agrees with his fellow Democrat, Senator Bernest Cain, who said anyone who opposes the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage is a bigot. Or does the governor agree with the vast majority of Oklahomans that marriage is a sacred institution that should be protected?” said Senate Republican Leader James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa.

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