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Press Releases

Showing: March, 2007

A Senate committee approved a measure Thursday that would encourage all retailers to implement voluntary restrictions on the sale of over-the-counter medications containing dextromethorphan. The bill, House Bill 1794, is authored by Sen. Ron Justice.

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Sexual violence is increasing in Oklahoma and State Senator Andrew Rice is joining with the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault as well as Take Back the Night: Oklahoma (TBTN) to help raise awareness of the growing epidemic.

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Lack of prenatal care for babies and their mothers costs the State of Oklahoma millions of dollars each year and the lives of hundreds of infants. On Thursday, the Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 23, by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, to help bring awareness to this growing problem in the state.

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The Co-Chairs of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources both praised provisions of House Bill 1234, the General Appropriations bill.

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The life of one of Oklahoma's brave young sons was honored by the State Senate Wednesday. Senate Resolution 22, by Senator Jim Wilson, memorializes the life and the military contributions of U.S. Army Sergeant William J. "B.J." Beardsley who was killed in Iraq on Monday, February 26.

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The Co-Chairs of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education both praised provisions of House Bill 1234, the General Appropriations bill that invests record funding in education.

Senators Clark Jolley, a Republican from Edmond, and Susan Paddack, a Democrat from Ada, said the GA bill serves as an appropriate blueprint to ensure critical services for all Oklahomans remain intact. Both senators provided input for negotiations in developing the base-level education funding contained in HB 1234, and said the bill is a product of sincere, bipartisan cooperation.

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The Co-Chairs of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation both endorsed provisions of House Bill 1234, the General Appropriations bill.

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“I’m highly disappointed the Governor has chosen to veto this portion of the budget that directly affects the public safety of our citizens.

“It’s become quite evident with the funding crisis the Department of Corrections faces year after year, we needed to take a different approach to the way we address this item in the budget.

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State Sen. James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, said the Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) is wrong to oppose SB 714 and HB 1317, Williamson’s bills that would prohibit state funds and facilities from being used to perform abortions.

Tuesday, OSMA issued a letter from Dr. Jack Beller, Chair of OSMA’s Council on State Legislation, encouraging legislators to oppose the measures.

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HENRY MAY BE SETTING STAGE FOR GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Senate Republican leaders questioned Gov. Brad Henry’s line-item veto of funding for an independent performance audit of the Department of Corrections – which the governor described as his “first” line-item veto of HB 1234, the bipartisan general appropriations bill overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature last week.

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Sen. Kenneth Corn on Monday expressed concern with State Treasurer Scott Meacham’s opposition to an independent audit of the Department of Corrections’ finances.

The proposal was included in a budget agreement approved by lawmakers last week. The audit would cost $1 million and would be performed by an independent firm contracted by the Legislative Service Bureau. Corn said that despite Meacham’s opposition to the proposal, the independent audit and a thorough study of the Department’s finances are necessary to find solutions to the agency’s long-term funding problems.

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Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee and Appropriations Committee Co-Chairman Mike Johnson praised the unanimous passage by the Oklahoma Senate of HB 1234, a general appropriations bill, on Tuesday.

“The Legislature has a constitutional duty to appropriate money, and we have worked very hard to develop this carefully balanced, bipartisan budget agreement. When Gov. Henry returns from his Spring Break vacation, we are confident he will like what he sees in this historic agreement,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee has given approval to a measure to ensure the statute of limitations on “accessory” crimes is the same as in the substantive crime in a particular case. Sen. Charles Wyrick, D-Fairland, is Senate author of House Bill 1285. Wyrick explained the bill came as the result of the murder of a baby in his district.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan today praised Senate passage of House Bill 1234, a General Appropriations bill comprising the Fiscal Year 2008 state budget. The measure passed by a unanimous 48-0 vote.

Morgan said the budget contained in HB 1234 meets the needs of Oklahoma by focusing on the priorities of education, health care and public safety – especially in light of revised revenue projections that left the Legislature with $250 million less to appropriate than originally estimated.

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The leaders of the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives announced that legislators have reached a historic, bipartisan agreement on a wide range of budget and tax issues.

The accord includes supplemental funding for education and the Department of Corrections, a package of tax cuts, and a general appropriations bill to fund state agencies in FY 2008.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan Thursday praised the Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations agreement reached by legislative leaders this week as a “responsible budget that meets the obligations of the state and prioritizes the use of our resources.”

Morgan, D-Stillwater, said the agreement represented a “current services budget” which will ensure that state agencies can continue to provide the services Oklahomans count on in their daily lives.

Education, health care and public safety, the Senate leader said, remain at the top of that list.

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Republican leaders in the Oklahoma Senate praised a historic, bipartisan budget agreement. The Senate is tied at 24 Republicans and 24 Democrats this year, giving Senate Republicans an equal say in developing the budget for the first time in history.

The agreement was announced Monday by Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee (R-Oklahoma City), Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan (D-Stillwater), and Speaker of the House Lance Cargill (R-Harrah).

Coffee said the agreement proves that bipartisanship can work at the Oklahoma Legislature.

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The state Senate on Monday honored the efforts of the Oklahoma Heritage Association, and declared June 16 and 17, 2007, as “Oklahoma Celtic Music and Heritage Festival Weekend” in Stillwater.

Sen. Mike Morgan welcomed the group, which included bagpipers and flag-bearers displaying the flags of Celtic nations, to the Senate Chamber. Morgan authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 to commend the efforts of the Association to celebrate the Oklahoma Centennial with an exploration of Celtic art and history.

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The Oklahoma State Senate welcomed Miss Oklahoma 2006 Lindsey Miller and Miss America 2007 Lauren Nelson to the floor of the Senate Monday.

Senate Resolution 18, authored by Sens. Brian Crain and James A. Williamson, was presented to the new Miss Oklahoma Lindsey Miller commending her for her many talents.

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The State Senate honored the life and contributions made to education in Oklahoma by Dr. Garland Godfrey on Monday. Senate Resolution 11, by Senator Clark Jolley, praises the career of Godfrey who served as the 16th President of the University of Central Oklahoma.

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