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Press Releases

Showing: June, 2007

History will be made Sunday in the Oklahoma Senate when Republican Senator Glenn Coffee officially becomes the first Republican to hold the office of Senate President Pro Tempore.

“This is a historic day for the Oklahoma Senate. It is the first time in state history that a Republican senator has held the office of Senate President Pro Tem,” stated Senate Republican Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan and Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee have extended their congratulations to Miss Oklahoma winner, Makenna Smith. The Oklahoma City University graduate student interned at the Senate in 2005 when she was completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma.

“We’re very proud that one of our former interns will be representing our state in the Miss America pageant. We’re certainly wishing her all the best from everyone here in the State Senate,” Morgan said. read more.

(State Capitol, Oklahoma City) – A bill recently signed by the governor could lead to changes in the way the Oklahoma Tax Commission estimates the budgetary impact of tax proposals.

Senate Bill 368, by Senate Republican Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, creates the Task Force on Dynamic Revenue Forecasting. The task force will study the use of dynamic revenue forecasting and develop recommendations for the Oklahoma Tax Commission regarding the use of such forecasting for analyzing proposed tax legislation

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Gov. Brad Henry showed his continued loyalty to Oklahoma’s trial lawyers with a veto of a bipartisan bill that would have limited liability of doctors under contract with the state to perform administrative services, such as examining patient records.

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A bill that would create an Oklahoma Bioenergy Center to position Oklahoma as a leader in biofuels research and production has been signed into law by the Governor.

Senate Bill 609 will combine the expertise of Oklahoma’s colleges and universities with the facilities of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation to research the development of biofuels.

Sen. Joe Sweeden, author of Senate Bill 609, said the Act will ensure that Oklahoma remains at the forefront of the energy industry for years to come.

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A task force has been authorized to examine how state funds are distributed to Oklahoma public schools—that’s after Gov. Brad Henry signed Senate Bill 925 into law this week. Sen. Clark Jolley is principal author of the legislation, co-authored by Rep. Ken Miller. Jolley said he appreciated the governor’s support of the study.

“This is long overdue. It’s been about two decades since anyone took an in-depth look at the school funding formula,” said Jolley, R-Edmond. “We need to determine whether it is efficient, fair, and whether it could be simplified.”
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Legislation that will increase funding to Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) and Multi-Disciplinary Child Abuse Teams was signed by Gov. Brad Henry this week.

Sen. Jonathan Nichols, R-Norman, originally authored an amendment that was included in HB 1282. The amendatory language that is now law earmarks a $3 fee on criminal filings for programs that investigate child abuse cases. The new fee could generate as much as one million new dollars for Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) and Multi-Disciplinary Teams.
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“This new law will make certain that every student who qualifies for an Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship will receive their scholarship. It will ensure that the state keeps the promise it has made to these dedicated young people and that the OHLAP program will remain a vital part of our efforts to increase the number of college graduates in Oklahoma.”

Note to editors: Currently, approximately 15,000 students are attending college on Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships and another 30,000 middle and high school students have signed up for the program.

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At a State Capitol news conference Monday, State Sen. Randy Brogdon addressed recent criticism of his bill, the Taxpayer Transparency Act, and encouraged Gov. Brad Henry to sign the bill into law.
Senate Bill 1, authored by Brogdon (R-Owasso) and Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore), requires the Office of State Finance to create and maintain a searchable Website to let citizens see how state tax dollars are used.
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