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Press Releases

Showing: February, 2004

Senate Republican Leader James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, wrote Governor Brad Henry Wednesday seeking the governor’s help to withdraw a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage out of committee for a vote on the Senate floor.

SJR 38, authored by Williamson, would send to a vote of the people a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

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Movie Piracy Act Clears Senate

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a measure to outlaw movie piracy in Oklahoma. Senator Glenn Coffee is the author of Senate Bill 1234, also known as the “Movie Piracy Act.” Senator Coffee said the bill is aimed at individuals who take hand-held video cameras into theatres and make illegal copies of films.

“It’s already a federal violation, but the problem is so pervasive there’s no way federal agents alone can stop this kind of piracy. Having a state law on the books means local law enforcement can make arrests,” explained Senator Coffee, R-OKC.

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Career Tech Reform Bill Passes Senate

State Senator Kenneth Corn (D-Poteau) has won Senate approval for legislation to bring reforms to the Career Tech system. SB 1112 will provide greater accountability to Oklahoma taxpayers.

Pointing to concerns throughout the Career Tech system in Oklahoma, Corn worked throughout the interim to produce these proposed changes that he says are common sense solutions to prevent the problems from occurring again.

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Officials from higher education, technology center schools, the private sector and the legislature unveiled a new pilot program they said would enable Oklahoma workers in technical professions to earn a bachelor’s degree.

State Senator Jim Maddox, D-Lawton, said that since 1988, career tech centers and Oklahoma colleges have had a cooperative agreement under which students could earn an Associates of Applied Science degree.

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Senate GOP Leader: Gov. Henry’s failure to intervene is “troublesome”

The pro-gay marriage Democrat leadership of the Oklahoma State Senate Thursday killed SJR 38 by refusing to give the legislation a hearing in the Senate Human Resources Committee.

The bill, by Senate Republican Leader James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, would send to a vote of the people a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

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of Tribal Gaming

A bill that would boost purses at Oklahoma’s four pari-mutuel horse racing facilities, allow the state to regulate the more than 80 tribal casinos in Oklahoma and provide millions of dollars for education passed the State Senate on a 30-18 vote Wednesday.

Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson, author of the bill, said he was pleased with the outcome of the vote.

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Senate Republicans Unveil 2004 Agenda
Click here for a copy of the 2004 Senate Republican Agenda

Oklahoma City – State Senate Republicans unveiled their agenda for the 2004 legislative session, saying the Legislature’s top priorities in 2004 should focus on strengthening Oklahoma’s economy, improving Oklahoma’s education system, defending Oklahoma’s traditional values, and promoting rural economic development – while holding the line on taxes and spending.

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A painting depicting a woman whose U.S. Supreme Court case helped to break the racial barrier in Oklahoma’s higher education system will now grace the walls of the State Capitol, according to Sen. Charles Ford, R-Tulsa.

The painting of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, the first woman of color to be admitted to the University of Oklahoma law school, was dedicated today in the Senate Chamber. Artist Mike Wimmer of Norman created the painting, which was sponsored by Sen. Penny Williams, D-Tulsa.

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Senate Honors Sooner Football Star

Senator Debbe Leftwich, D-OKC, praised former University of Oklahoma cornerback and Jim Thorpe Award recipient Derrick Strait today on the Senate floor by presenting him with Senate Resolution 36.

The Austin, Texas, native was presented with the nation’s best defensive back award at the ESPN-Home Depot College Football Awards show in early December 2003. The outstanding defensive player also received the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player just days before receiving the Thorpe Award. Strait was also named to the Walter Camp All-American Team.

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State Capitol, Oklahoma City – A brand new decision by the activist Massachusetts Supreme Court that “only full, equal marriage rights” for gays is constitutional puts Oklahoma at further risk that same sex marriages will be forced on our state. The ruling is a follow-up by the court to its controversial ruling last year.

Senate Republican Leader James A. Williamson said recent actions by Gov. Brad Henry and Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson, D-Lexington, have added to the risk that Oklahomans could soon have same sex marriages forced on them by activist courts.

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For the first time ever, Oklahomans from across the state can now listen to the legislature live on the internet. The webcasts began this week with the first day of the 2004 legislative session and Gov. Brad Henry’s State of the State Address.

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The leader of the State Senate said Thursday he doesn’t believe that recent decisions by the Massachusetts Supreme Court make gay marriage one of the most pressing issues facing Oklahoma.

Senate President Pro Tem Cal Hobson said Senate Minority Leader James A. Williamson’s assertions that Oklahoma’s 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is on the verge of being overturned are ill conceived.

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Sen. Charles Ford, R-Tulsa, announced the dedication today of two more original paintings commissioned by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. The oil portraits of Oklahoma’s first territorial House Speaker, Arthur N. Daniels, and Oklahoma’s first statehood House Speaker, “Alfalfa Bill” Murray, were unveiled during a ceremony this afternoon in the House of Representatives Chamber.

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A painting depicting two of Oklahoma’s most famous sons, Will Rogers and Wiley Post, has been dedicated at the State Capitol. State Senator Charles Ford, President of the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund Inc., unveiled the artwork during a ceremony in the State Senate Chamber on Tuesday morning.

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“I think it was obvious again that we have a young governor with a vision for our state and the boldness to lead. A true leader doesn’t just point out the problems, he proposes real world solutions and that’s what this governor did today.

“I was particularly impressed by his continued dedication to improving education in our state and his recognition that teachers are the engine that make our education system go. Educating the next generation of Oklahomans is the best way to ensure a prosperous future for our state.

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Governor Fails To Mention Many Top Oklahoma Priorities

Senate Republican Floor Leader James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, made the following response to Gov. Brad Henry’s State of the State address:

“We know Gov. Henry likes to talk the talk about bipartisanship, but his State of the State address left many Republicans wondering if he will walk the walk. He adopted many Republican proposals like tax relief and lawsuit reform, but then failed to mention some of the most important issues facing our state.

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