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Press Releases

Showing: July, 2005

“Senate Democrats remain focused on protecting Oklahoma families because we believe public safety should be our number one priority.

“Until Speaker Hiett and other Republican leaders of the House are willing to come to the table with workable solutions to address the crisis facing the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC), we will remain uninterested in discussing funding for parades and fireworks.

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The Joint Task Force on Eminent Domain formed by Sen. Clark Jolley (R-Edmond) and Rep. Mark Liotta (R-Tulsa) has announced three meeting dates in August. Jolley and Liotta formed the ad hoc task force to consider the ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo vs. City of New London ruling on Oklahoma property owners and to develop a legislative remedy to the decision.

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“I appreciate House Leaders coming to the table to offer their thoughts on this serious public safety debate. However, after reviewing the House Republican Prison Recruitment Plan I am concerned their plan offers no real solutions to address staffing shortages with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC).

“Senate Democrats have a solid plan on the table that offers real solutions to address serious problems in Oklahoma prisons. We look forward to working further with Governor Henry and House leaders to find common ground on this issue.

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Sen. Jonathan Nichols today outlined details of a proposed statewide child abuse task force at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

The OSBI’s Child Abuse Response Team (OSBI CART) was proposed this week as part of the Senate Republicans plan for funding public safety.

“The OSBI CART would be made up of OSBI agents who are highly trained in investigating child abuse cases, forensic interviewing of children and case development for the prosecution,” said Nichols, R-Norman, a former prosecutor.

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Senator Kenneth Corn, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary, said House Republicans continue to turn their backs on public safety in Oklahoma with their latest fuzzy math scheme they claim will help recruitment efforts at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC).

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GOP PLAN INCLUDES LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS FOR PRISONS, PROSECUTORS, LAW ENFORCEMENT

Senate Republicans unveiled their plan today to undo the “years of neglect” by the Democrat-controlled Senate of prisons, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies.

The Senate GOP’s broad-based plan includes some short-term funding fixes – such as $7.1 million in supplemental funding to hire more correctional officers and to fully fund state prosecutors.

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Senator Kenneth Corn, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety, said he is thankful today that Senate Republicans have finally come up with a plan to help ease the funding crisis at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) and says he looks forward to working with them to hammer out a solution that will keep all Oklahomans safe. He said however, he is disappointed that Senate Republicans used their press release to engage in political grandstanding.

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After receiving word that yet another prison brawl erupted in an Oklahoma prison, Sen. Kenneth Corn questioned again today what exactly it was going to take to make Republican Speaker of the House Todd Hiett understand there is a crisis in prisons across Oklahoma.

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Senator Adelson Comments on the Formation of the House of Representatives Medicaid Reform Task Force

“Today, Speaker Hiett began his-fated hunt to attack Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, which he claims has wasted and/or mismanaged over $100 million in taxpayer money.

“These are odd words to come from the man who led the charge to increase funding for the state Medicaid program by a whopping 33 percent!
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Senator Kenneth Corn said Friday he agrees with Rep. John Trebilcock that violent offenders shouldn’t be released from prison early and said that’s why the Senate’s comprehensive prison funding plan unveiled Thursday doesn’t include any such provisions.

“Our plan ensures that violent offenders will stay in prison where they belong by making sure there will be enough correctional officers on the job to keep them there and to keep Oklahomans safe,” said Corn, chairman of the Appropriations Sub-Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary in the Senate.

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Senate leaders Thursday unveiled a bold plan that will eventually put 450 additional corrections officers on the job in Oklahoma prisons and help ensure staffing levels don’t drop to dangerous levels in the future.
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Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee said today he doubts Senate Democrats are serious about supporting public safety funding in the state – saying that their proposal for more prison funding seems more like the political equivalent of a “deathbed conversion” than a legitimate change-of-heart.

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State Sen. Frank Shurden said he will once again attempt to pass a bill into law to allow the surgical castration of convicted rapists.

“I’ve been fighting for this law for 28 years. We’re seeing more and more cases in the news where children are kidnapped from their homes, raped and molested by convicted sex offenders who’ve been released. It is obvious that treatment doesn’t work. Castration is what it takes to protect innocent women and children.
We need to do it,” said Shurden, D-Henryetta.
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The death of an inmate at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite should serve as a sobering reminder to lawmakers and the public of the critical staffing needs in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, State Senator Kenneth Corn said Monday.

Corn, D-Poteau, said a fight in the prison exercise yard turned deadly Sunday evening when one inmate was killed and three others were injured.
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Statement by Senator Kenneth Corn

“While Speaker Hiett and the Republicants in the House are taking a deep breath, our correctional officers continue to put their lives on the line behind the walls of our state prisons, where the situation appears to be getting more and more dangerous each day.

“It is the Speaker who is acting irresponsibly as he insists on ignoring this growing problem.

“Apparently, the Speaker has adopted a do-nothing policy when it comes to public safety.”

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In a continued effort to find a comprehensive solution to the prison funding crisis facing the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC), the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary heard testimony today from Oklahoma Correctional Officers. Chairman of the Subcommittee, Senator Kenneth Corn, (D-Poteau) said today’s meeting gave subcommittee members a better understanding of how inadequate staffing at state prisons affects correctional officer’s ability to keep themselves and Oklahoma communities safe.

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President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan today announced the formation of an official Oklahoma State Senate interim study committee to look into the issues surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month on the use of eminent domain.

The study committee was one of seven formed by the Senate leader Wednesday.

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In protest to a recent Supreme Court ruling, a group of state legislators has formed a task force to find the best solution for fighting eminent domain in Oklahoma.

Founder of the task force, Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, said that the purpose behind the group is to create a piece of legislation for next year's session that will best address the new issue. The Supreme Court in the case of Kelo v. City of New London ruled last month that eminent domain can now be used for private development.
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Senator Daisy Lawler said Friday the latest far-reaching decision by the U.S. Supreme court to allow local governments to seize private property through eminent domain is will result in the robbing of citizens of the American dream.

“This is a basic liberty that is being taken away through greed and covetetousness, which are contrary to my values,” Lawler said.

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In a continued effort to find a comprehensive solution to the prison funding crisis facing the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC), the Senate Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety has invited Oklahoma Correctional Officers to testify at a meeting next Wednesday at the State Capitol. Senator Kenneth Corn, (D-Poteau) said he will ask correctional officers for their input on how inadequate staffing at state prisons affects their ability to keep themselves and Oklahoma communities safe.
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