State Sen. Clark Jolley has filed legislation designed to jump-start Oklahoma’s economy and offer an even richer college experience for students at state campuses. Senate Bill 2103 would generate additional funding for the Oklahoma for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) Program, Oklahoma’s Economic Development Generating Excellence (EDGE) Fund, as well as endowed chairs at state colleges and universities.
Thursday, January 17 marks the deadline for members of the Oklahoma State Senate to file legislation for the 2008 session, the second of the 51st Legislature. By 5 p.m., 969 bills and 22 joint resolutions had been filed, with staff members expected to work into the evening filing the final measures. There were also 806 Senate bills and joint resolutions carried over from the 2007 session. In 2007, the Senate considered 1,130 new Senate bills as well as 32 Senate Joint Resolutions.
Sen. Jeff Rabon on Tuesday called upon the Oklahoma Tourism Department to adopt a zero tolerance policy on discrimination and requested that Attorney General Drew Edmonson examine potential contractual irregularities with an employee at Beaver’s Bend State Park in Broken Bow.
Noting that about one of every eight veterans under age 65 are uninsured, State Senator Andrew Rice (D-OKC) today announced he is introducing legislation this year creating the Oklahoma Veterans’ Health Insurance Program.
“Most people assume that all veterans qualify for free health care through the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department,” Rice said. “Sadly, that’s not true and when the legislature sets our priorities at the beginning of this session, Oklahoma’s military veterans deserve to be at or near the top.”
Sen. John Ford is renewing his effort to protect Oklahomans against election fraud. Ford has filed Senate Bill 1150 which will require voters to show identification when they cast their ballots. While similar legislation has gone unheard in past sessions, Ford said it was important to keep fighting for this measure.
Speaker of the House Lance Cargill and Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee today criticized Tulsa Public Schools’ lawsuit against the state’s charter schools law. The lawsuit’s goal is to get the Charter School Act, which allows charter schools to operate in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties, declared unconstitutional.read more.
A bill filed this week by Senator Jay Paul Gumm would mandate health insurance policies cover treatment for a disorder affecting nearly one in every 150 children.
Senate Bill 1537 would require insurance policies to cover health issues related to autistic disorders. National research shows that one in every 150 children will be diagnosed with some form of autism. Currently, 17 states have similar insurance mandates.read more.
State Senator Andrew Rice (D-OKC) today announced he will revive his legislation to provide tax cuts to Oklahomans who care for and support their aging relatives when the 51st Oklahoma Legislature reconvenes next month.
Rice said he was disappointed that his caretaker’s tax relief plan was omitted from a larger tax reform plan adopted by the legislature last year.read more.
Republicans of the Oklahoma State Senate released their policy agenda for the 2008 legislative session today, calling for better roads and bridges, improvements in education and health care, and economic reforms to promote job creation.
Senate Republicans also pledged to make Oklahoma government more accountable and transparent, keep violent and habitual criminals behind bars, and provide more tax relief for Oklahoma taxpayers.read more.
Statement by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan
“Over the past year in an evenly divided senate, the Senate Democratic Caucus has proven we are willing to set aside partisan politics to find common ground on policies that help move our state forward.read more.
Following the release of an independent performance audit of the Department of Corrections, Senator Jeff Rabon on Tuesday again called for the construction of a new, 2,500 inmate correctional facility to be located on 5,200 acres currently occupied by the Howard McCleod Correctional Center in Atoka.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Oklahoma and the leading cause of adult disabilities. That’s why Senate Health and Human Services Committee Co-Chairs Todd Lamb and Andrew Rice are urging Oklahomans to take advantage of a program to better educate citizens about how to identify and help stroke victims.
State Sen. Kenneth Corn said dramatically declining budget projections are proof that the legislature needs to consider his budget stabilization legislation in the 2008 session.
State Capitol, Oklahoma City – The leaders of the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives today released the findings of an independent performance audit of the Department of Corrections conducted by MGT of America, Inc.
Speaker of the House Lance Cargill, Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan, and Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee issued the following statement regarding the audit:read more.