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Press Releases

Showing: October, 2005

Gov. Brad Henry should regularly play the Oklahoma Education Lottery – and pledge to give his net winnings to public schools – to publicly show his support for the state-run gambling operation that is the cornerstone of his agenda.

“The governor should put his money where his mouth is and regularly play the Oklahoma Lottery,” stated Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Choctaw. “I am being consistent by not playing a lottery that I personally opposed. But the governor is being hypocritical by having pushed for the lottery and now refusing to play it.”
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State Senators Daisy Lawler and Charlie Laster said they were pleased with the second meeting held by the Senate's official legislative study on eminent domain. The two are co-chairs of the committee examining Oklahoma's current statutes on eminent domain as a result of last summer's Kelo v. City of New London Supreme Court case.
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With all the difficulties many older Oklahomans face each day, getting needed state services shouldn’t be so hard. That’s according to State. Sen. Debbe Leftwich, who announced plans for legislation to create a “one stop shop” for Oklahoma seniors.
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With all the difficulties many older Oklahomans face each day, getting needed state services shouldn’t be so hard. That’s according to State. Sen. Debbe Leftwich, who announced plans for legislation to create a “one stop shop” for Oklahoma seniors.
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The Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature (OSHL) convened at the State Capitol on Tuesday. During their two-day session, the organization will pass legislation that they ultimately hope to win approval for in the State Legislature. One of their first orders of business was a presentation by Sen. Harry Coates. Coates said he was honored to be asked to address the organization.
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OKLAHOMA CITY-The principle author of the Oklahoma Education Lottery Act, Senator Cal Hobson, is speaking out against lawmakers who have been quick to criticize the new funding stream that has already pumped significant amounts of money into education in Oklahoma.

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State Senate Republican Leader disappointed by Sen. Lawler’s attempt to politicize issue in ‘Howard Dean’-like news release

State Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee said Oklahomans can thank U.S. Congressman Frank Lucas, a Republican from Cheyenne, for winning his effort to keep the USDA from closing 19 of Oklahoma’s 65 Farm Service Agency offices.

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Senator Daisy Lawler today applauded the decision by the United States Department of Agriculture to scrap its plans to close and consolidate 700 Farm Service Agency offices across the country, including 19 in Oklahoma.

“The voices of Oklahoma family farmers have been heard in Washington and we have won a tremendous victory for family farms in our state and across the nation,” said Lawler, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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“Senate Democrats were instrumental in passing an historic workers’ compensation measure that was given an “A” rating by the State Chamber of Commerce-an obvious pro business group in the state of Oklahoma.

“The Research Institute for Economic Development (RIED) report is so arbitrarily put together that when we contacted a RIED board member, we were unable to get the formula that determines the rankings given to legislators.
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* Senate Democrats get failing grade on job creation

A newly released legislative scorecard from the Research Institute for Economic Development, or RIED, shows that Republicans in the Oklahoma State Senate strongly support issues and legislation that help attract businesses and jobs to the state.

RIED evaluated legislators’ votes and positions during the 2005 legislative session on dozens of bills that affect economic growth and job creation in the state – such as tax relief, lawsuit reform, workers’ compensation reform, and small business issues.

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As events are held across the nation to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, thousands of Oklahoma women are taking advantage of legislation giving them access to life-saving breast and cervical cancer treatment. That’s according to State Sen. Debbe Leftwich, author of a 2004 measure to provide funding for uninsured and underinsured women in need of treatment. As a result, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program went into effect on January 1, 2005.
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The fears of Senate Democrats were realized last night when the crisis facing Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) went beyond prison walls as a convicted murderer and serial rapist escaped from the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington. According to news reports, the pair kidnapped an innocent woman and stole a vehicle to make their escape.

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Senate Energy and Environment Committee Chairman Richard Lerblance has asked Governor Brad Henry to convene a statewide energy summit to discuss ways to help working families in Oklahoma deal with expected increases in the cost of heating their homes this winter.

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Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee said Sen. Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, is seeking to politicize a prison escape – while ignoring his own party’s responsibility for the current state of Oklahoma’s prisons.

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The Chair of the Senate Committee on Education said the organizational meeting of an interim study to determine inequities within the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System was a success.

Senator Susan Paddack, a Democrat from Ada, said she is hopeful that the study will result in legislation that will keep experienced teachers in Oklahoma.

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The Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee said Monday that she intends to fight a plan by the leadership in Washington that would create a tremendous hardship on Oklahoma family farmers by closing nearly 30 percent of the Farm Service Agency offices in the state.

“Oklahoma family farmers have endured all kinds of natural disasters – ice storms in the winter, tornadoes in the spring and drought and insects in the summer,” said Senator Daisy Lawler, D-Comanche. “And now Washington is trying to wipe them out with a man-made disaster.”

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Chairman Johnnie Crutchfield called Friday for a special fact-finding meeting of the full Senate Appropriations Committee to consider methods by which the state can augment the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program next.
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State Senator Debbe Leftwich has been named the new Secretary of North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the world’s first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade Corridor.

The corridor, which extends from Mexico to Canada, runs through Oklahoma along Interstate 35 to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America.
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Although the Oklahoma Lottery Commission reversed its decision made last week to allow pawn shops and payday loan centers to sell lottery tickets, State Senator Daisy Lawler said she still intends to file legislation to statutorily ban the sale of tickets at these places permanently.

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The Senate Finance Committee chair echoed the sentiments of Senator Daisy Lawler and called on the Lottery Commission to reverse their decision to allow lottery tickets to be sold at pawn shops and payday loan companies.

“Senator Lawler is right on the money to ask the lottery commission to reverse this decision, and I join her in that call,” Gumm, an Assistant Majority Leader in the Senate, said. “This was a bad decision made by good people that needs to be reversed as soon as possible.”

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