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Press Releases

Showing: March, 2004

The Senate Appropriations committee has given its approval to language ensuring the right of schools to display the words “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (Out of Many One)” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

Senator Charlie Laster is author of House Bill 2477, known as the “Reading Sufficiency Act.” The Shawnee Democrat amended the measure to include language declaring the right to display the mottos.

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Saying House Bill 2619 would further disadvantage workers injured on the job and end up costing employers and taxpayers millions of dollars more each year, Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson announced Monday that the bill will not be granted a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
The announcement effectively kills the measure, which is authored in the Senate by Senator Scott Pruitt, R-Broken Arrow.

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The chance for meaningful reforms to Oklahoma’s expensive, pro-lawyer workers compensation system has been killed for the legislative session by Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson, D-Lexington, who has chosen to obstruct reforms by not allowing a committee hearing on a landmark workers comp reform bill that sailed through the House of Representatives on a vote of 95 to 1.

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The Oklahoma City Community College Board of Regents will dedicate the Keith Leftwich Memorial Library on Thursday, March 25, at 1:30 p.m. at the College's Library Plaza.

"Senator Leftwich sponsored legislation throughout the years that enabled Oklahoma City Community College to grow in service to its community," said Oklahoma City Community College Board Chair Darrel Lanier.

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The Democrat leadership of the Oklahoma State Senate is refusing to allow a committee chairman to hear a landmark workers compensation reform bill, Senate Republican leaders said at a State Capitol news conference.

House Bill 2619 was assigned by the Senate’s Democrat leadership to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but they will not allow Judiciary Chairman Jerry Smith, R-Tulsa, to hear the legislation in his committee.

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“The issue is a complicated one and Oklahoma has made more progress on addressing the costs associated with our system than almost any state in the nation in the last decade. I don’t think I need to remind Senator Pruitt that for a number of years he championed a completely different style of reform. He told us his administrative courts plan like those adopted in Texas and Florida – if we would just take his word for it and enact it – would solve all our ills. We chose instead to move cautiously in the area of reform and have made great strides."

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Hobson Joins Key Senate Committees

Senator Cal Hobson, a long-time champion of education, has been appointed the Senate Education Committee and the Appropriations Sub-Committee on Education, Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan announced Thursday.

“Education must truly be our first priority as a state. Investing in our school children and our college students is a very real investment in the future of Oklahoma,” Hobson said

Hobson, D-Lexington, has also been assigned to the Judiciary, Energy and Retirement and Group Health Committees.

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Recent findings by a U.S. District Judge show both the good and the bad of the state’s Medicaid program and now it is time for the state legislature to respond, the Chairman of the Appropriations Sub-Committee on Health and Social Services said Thursday.

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A bill that would allow teachers and school administrators to post the National Motto, “In God We Trust,” in Oklahoma public schools is in trouble, the bill’s author and two members of the Senate Education Committee said at a press conference on Monday.

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The Senate Finance Committee has voted in favor of a bill to let Oklahomans decide the fate of proposed fuel tax increase. Senator Robert Milacek, author of House Bill 2632, said the measure would increase gas prices 5 cents a gallon and diesel fuel taxes by 8 cents a gallon over a three-year period.

Senator Milacek said proceeds of the fuel tax increase would go to repair and maintain Oklahoma’s roads, bridges and highways. The Enid Republican called it one of the most serious problems facing the state.

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Representative Bill Mitchell, Chairman
Representative Jack Bonny, Vice Chairman

EDUCATION SUBCOMMITTEE
Debbie Blackburn, Chair
Mary Easley, Vice Chair
Neil Brannon
Kevin Calvey
Abe Deutschendorf
Dale DeWitt
Larry Ferguson
Terry Ingmire
Tad Jones
Ray McCarter
Doug Miller
Ray Miller
Fred Perry
Ron Peterson
Clay Pope
Larry Roberts
Barbara Staggs
Dale Wells
Susan Winchester

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One day after Governor Brad Henry signed the Fiscal Year 2005 General Appropriations bill into law, Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson and House Speaker Larry Adair officially appointed House and Senate members to the committee which will work out the remaining details of the FY 2005 budget.

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The Senate Finance Committee approved legislation Tuesday which may eventually allow Oklahomans to vote on a proposed increase in the state tax on tobacco products. The measure was reported “do pass” by the committee on a 12-0 vote.

House Bill 2660 currently does not include a tobacco tax increase, but Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson, Senate author of the measure, says he hopes to work out details in a Senate-House conference committee that will allow a statewide vote on a tobacco tax increase later this year.

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Senator Mike Morgan, Chairman
Senator Ben Robinson, Vice Chairman


Education
Rozell, Chair
Coffee
Crutchfield
Ford
Milacek
Snyder
Taylor
Williams

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Having reached an agreement with Governor Henry and House leaders on a $500 million capital investment in Oklahoma’s colleges and universities, Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson said Wednesday he has accomplished his top priority for the legislative session and will resign as the leader of the Oklahoma State Senate.

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Stillwater Senator Mike Morgan was elected President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate Wednesday.

“I am humbled by the awesome responsibility of this job and the challenges that lay ahead. I’m thankful to my Senate colleagues for their support and I know I can count on each and every one of them – both Democrats and Republicans – to put aside petty political differences in the coming weeks as we seek to move Oklahoma forward,” Morgan said.

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Senator Johnnie Crutchfield has been promoted to serve as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan. The Ardmore Democrat was promoted to the post shortly after Senator Mike Morgan, (D-Stillwater) was elected as President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate Wednesday.

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Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, made the following statement regarding the resignation of Sen. Cal Hobson as President Pro Tempore.

“First and foremost, our prayers and thoughts are with Sen. Hobson during this difficult time for him and his family. My disagreements with Sen. Hobson have always been over policy issues – not personal issues.

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to National Embarrassment for Oklahoma

Oklahoma was embarrassed on the national television program “60 minutes” Sunday evening when commentator Andy Rooney ridiculed Oklahoma for its high rate of divorce.

“This is another national embarrassment for the State of Oklahoma. What makes this one really sting is that the Democrat leaders of the Oklahoma Senate have killed numerous bills to strengthen marriage in Oklahoma,” stated Sen. Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward.

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The State Senate has given unanimous approval to legislation that would make it harder for methamphetamine manufacturers to get ingredients needed to make the drug. Senator Dick Wilkerson is author of House Bill 2176. He called it the most proactive step the legislature has ever taken to address this growing problem.

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