Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson announced Monday that passage of the Higher Education Bond Issue legislation will be his first priority when the First Session of the Oklahoma Legislature convenes Monday.
Hobson said he has asked Majority Floor Leader Ted Fisher to assign the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee and has asked Appropriations Chairman Mike Morgan and Education Sub-Committee Chairman Johnnie Crutchfield to hear the bill as soon as possible.
“It’s my goal to have the full Senate consider the bill in February,” Hobson said.
State Senator Debbe Leftwich, D-OKC, and House Speaker Pro Tempore Susan Winchester, R-Chickasha, have announced plans to form a caucus for women serving in the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives.
Sen. Leftwich, a former chair of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, said she was excited about having a legislative coalition for women to focus on issues important to Oklahoma families.
Statement by Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson
“I’m encouraged by what I have seen of Governor Henry’s plan so far and I remain convinced we will be able to reach a workable solution in the coming weeks.
“I continue to believe that to reduce workers’ compensation rates we have to focus on the big ticket item of healthcare, which accounts for more than half of the overall cost of the system.
“Further, we must encourage increased workplace safety and do all we can to root out and punish fraud by employers as well as employees. read more.
State Senator Mike Mazzei is honoring a promise he made last fall—if elected, he would contribute 20 percent of his first term’s salary to the schools in his district. The Tulsa Republican will make his first check presentation to the Bixby Public School Foundation later this month.
Senate GOP Leader Highlights Lawsuit Reform Proposal
Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin and Senate Republican leaders, joined by several Oklahoma doctors and business leaders, called for meaningful lawsuit reform during the 2005 legislative session.
Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, also provided highlights of major components that GOP leaders expect to include in their comprehensive lawsuit reform proposal.read more.
Oklahoma Senate Democratic leaders unveiled a proposal to lower taxes on working families, attract new jobs to the state, and protect Oklahomans’ investment in public schools and health care.
The Democratic program, called “Helping Oklahomans Prosper Economically” or HOPE, combines income and sales tax breaks for individuals and businesses with an expanded incentive plan for new state industries purchasing supplies from Oklahoma companies.
Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, made the following statement after Senate Democrats unveiled their “HOPE” plan for modest, targeted tax cuts.
“Senate Republicans are pleased that Senate Democrats have acknowledged that tax relief is needed in Oklahoma. However, we believe it is better to enact job-creating, long-term tax reforms such as broad-based reductions in the income tax, reducing the estate tax to that of surrounding states, and fully eliminating the state capital gains tax.”read more.
State Senator Clark Jolley has authored a measure which encourages more drivers to ensure young children are properly secured in child safety seats. Senate Bill 799 would boost the current fine from ten dollars to one hundred dollars.
Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, made the following statement about Gov. Brad Henry’s prescription drug proposal.read more.
Senator Kenneth Corn (D-Poteau) has filed legislation that will limit the use of an automatic dial announcing device, such as those used during the 2004 campaigns.
As part of a comprehensive plan to assist working families, Senator Tom Adelson has filed legislation that would impose state penalties against employers who hire illegal aliens.
Senate Bill 510 would also allow citizens and legal U.S. residents to take action against such employers.
"This is a first of its kind attempt at the state level to deal with disruptions in the labor market" said Adelson, D-Tulsa.
Seeking to stem the tide of lost jobs and lost hope in Oklahoma, Republican leaders unveiled details of a landmark workers’ compensation reform plan at the State Capitol on Tuesday, January 25.
“I have watched many Oklahomans lose hope in recent years, as job opportunities move to other states,” says Speaker of the House Todd Hiett, R-Kellyville. “We must make significant strides this year. This is a broken system, and it must be fixed.”read more.
Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson and Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Chairman Randy Bass said Monday that they would work to push Governor Henry’s benefits plan for active duty members of the Oklahoma National Guard and Air National Guard through the Legislature this year.read more.
Senator Glenn Coffee of Oklahoma City has introduced legislation to help ensure that overseas absentee ballots from members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families are counted in Oklahoma elections.
“The least we can do for our fighting men and women, who are risking their lives for our freedom, is to ensure that their votes are counted,” stated Coffee, who serves as the Senate Republican Floor Leader.read more.
Two bills aimed at giving tax relief to Oklahomans serving on active duty and a survivor’s benefit to military families who’ve lost a loved one are among the measures filed for the 2005 legislative session.
Republican Leader Glenn Coffee of Oklahoma City is author of Senate Bill 836 which would create the read more.
Statement by Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson
“We’re pleased with the goals outlined by Republican legislative leaders today. Improving the quality of education for our children, creating jobs, supporting working families and making health care more available and affordable have been the backbone of the Democrats’ agenda since statehood.read more.
Speaker of the House Todd Hiett and Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee announced that House and Senate Republicans will seek common legislative goals in the upcoming 2005 legislative session.
Hiett and Coffee publicly released an eight point legislative platform recently approved by their respective caucuses.read more.
The recent case of a Republican lawmaker who continued to receive his legislative salary while locked up in jail should never be repeated, Senator Jay Paul Gumm said Tuesday.
Gumm, a Democrat from Durant who is an assistant majority leader in the Senate, has filed legislation that would suspend the pay of any state elected official who is in jail for as long as they are locked up.
Senator Jeff Rabon has requested a bill that will provide more incentive for candidates to run a fair and honest campaign. The Democrat from Hugo has authored legislation that will make it a misdemeanor for a candidate to knowingly release untruthful information about an opponent during an election cycle.
Although he agrees there are serious capital needs at Oklahoma colleges and universities, State Senator Jeff Rabon said he has reservations about the idea of using revenues from the new state lottery to pay for a $500 million bond issue to fund those projects.
“First of all, I think when most Oklahomans voted for an education lottery, they were thinking those dollars would go directly into the classrooms of their children’s public schools. I don’t remember anything about using those proceeds to pay for a higher education bond issue,” said Rabon, D-Hugo.