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Press Releases

Showing: July, 2008

Oklahoma's second "Back-to-School" sales tax holiday will be this weekend, and the law's chief proponent says the holiday will boost the economy and benefit families struggling with high energy prices.

"Last year, the sales tax holiday performed exactly as many of us predicted: it boosted retail sales by a whopping $100 million for the month of August," said Senator Jay Paul Gumm, who fought for years to pass the measure. "The holiday will do the same this year."

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State Senator Don Barrington, the author of the law that created Oklahoma’s sales tax holiday, is excited about this weekend’s tax-free event after seeing how successful it was in 2007.

“Oklahoma’s sales tax holiday helps families save money on purchases of clothing and shoes, and it provides a boost to Oklahoma’s economy, too,” said Barrington, R-Lawton.

Oklahoma’s sales tax holiday for 2008 runs from 12:01 a.m. this Friday, August 1 through midnight on Sunday, August 3.

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With six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, people might think Ladell Maxwell Brown would be enjoying a leisurely retirement—they’d be wrong. The energetic Ada woman continues to work at the real estate company she founded 40 years ago and has done volunteer work for numerous civic organizations ranging from the Ada Arts and Humanities Council to the Salvation Army.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan and Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee have been named recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award by the Higher Education Alumni Council of Oklahoma (HEACO). The leaders and other members of the Senate will be formally honored next week during HEACO’s annual meeting. The ceremony will be held at noon on Thursday, July 24, at the Nigh University Center of the University of Central Oklahoma.

Morgan, who is leaving office this year due to term limits, said he was extremely honored by the HEACO award.

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Senate Business and Labor Committee co-chairs, Senators Debbe Leftwich and Harry Coates, are furious with the actions taken by the Construction Industries Board (CIB) Thursday during its July meeting and are considering requesting an audit of the agency. The legislators, while pleased to see a permanent administrator hired, were disappointed by the boards decision to retain Jerry Regier as the boards Interim Administrator.

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(State Capitol, Oklahoma City) – The leaders of the Oklahoma State Senate announced their approval today of 33 requests for legislative studies.

The study requests were approved by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, and Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.

The Senate leaders said the studies are assigned to the Senate committee with jurisdiction over the subject matter contained in the request.

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Gumm Says Critical Issue Has Been Repeatedly Held up by GOPs Partisan Tactics

Oklahoma Republican House members today rolled out laughable media statements saying the Oklahoma Education Association is trying to force rural school consolidation.

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State Senators Debbe Leftwich and Harry Coates called on the Construction Industries Board (CIB) to remove Jerry Regier as the agency's Interim Director. Regier was hired last week - a move the two legislators believe to be pointless.

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State Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, commented on Gov. Brad Henry’s appointment of Antlers banker Steve Burrage as the new State Auditor and Inspector.

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Sen. Jeff Rabon and Rep. R.C. Pruett on Thursday applauded Gov. Brad Henry on selecting longtime Antlers banker Certified Public Accountant Steve Burrage to serve as the state’s new auditor and inspector.

Burrage has served as president and chief executive officer of FirstBank in Antlers since 1982. The former chairman of the board of the Oklahoma Bankers Association has more than 30 years of experience in accounting and banking.

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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 30
02
For Immediate Release: July , 200
Sen. Kenneth Corn
Statement from Senate Democrat Caucus Chair Kenneth Corn

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State Capitol, Oklahoma City – Statement from State Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee about former Senate President Pro Tempore and former Congressman Clem McSpadden, who passed away Monday evening:

“Last night Oklahoma lost one of its finest cowboys, Clem McSpadden. He was a worthy successor to the Will Rogers mantle, and a legend in his own right. Clem McSpadden loved his country and his state and served them both with honor and dignity. We will dearly miss him.”

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State Senator Sean Burrage today said the passing of formerSenate President Pro Temporeand U.S. Congressman Clem McSpadden is a “sad day for all Oklahomans and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

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OKLAHOMA CITY--“Oklahoma lost a real champion last night, with the passing of Clem Mcspadden.

“His contribution to this state will be realized for years to come, and our people are better off today because he gave his heart to making Oklahoma a better place to live, work and raise a family.

“Clem embodied the true meaning of public servant, and treated every person with whom he had contact with respect and kindness.

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Oklahoma’s Republican Speaker Killed Similar Measure

OKLAHOMA CITY – Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana this week signed a bill requiring health insurance companies in that state to cover diagnosis and treatment of autism.

The measure is similar to an Oklahoma bill known as “Nick’s Law.” That measure passed the Oklahoma Senate four times on bipartisan votes. The bill was repeatedly killed by Republican House Speaker Chris Benge and his leadership team by denying the bill a hearing – either in committee or the full House of Representatives.

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Oklahoma is the host state for the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). The conference, which meets in Oklahoma City from Thursday, July 11 through Tuesday, July 15 is expected to attract more than 800 visitors, including legislative leaders and guests. The SLC region includes 16 southern states which share many of the same concerns in areas ranging from economics to education to energy use.

Oklahoma legislative leaders said they were pleased to host the SLC Annual Meeting for 2008.

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State Senators Debbe Leftwich and Harry Coates on Thursday criticized the Construction Industries Board’s (CIB) recent hiring of an interim director. As co-chairs of the Senate Business and Labor committee, the legislators said it’s time for the CIB to quit stalling and hire a permanent director.

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With a 30 percent employee vacancy rate facing Oklahoma’s correctional facilities, Sens. Kenneth Corn and Richard Lerblance plan to file legislation that will allow the state to offer retention bonuses to longtime employees of the Department of Corrections.

Corn said that while providing additional incentives to improve recruitment is necessary, the state must ensure that longtime employees are adequately compensated for their years of service.

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