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Press Releases

Showing: September, 2009

“Governor Henry Bellmon was the first statewide elected official I ever met when I was 10 years old at Carl Albert State College. Meeting this great leader had a tremendous impact on me then, and still does to this day.

“He was a true champion of improving education in Oklahoma. The landmark legislation he championed, House Bill 1017, pulled education out of the gutter in Oklahoma and provided it with a standard driven system that emphasized student achievement unlike anything that had ever been done before.

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—“Oklahoma has lost a true advocate of the people today with the passing of Governor Henry Bellmon. As the first Republican governor of this state, Bellmon was an Oklahoman first—placing the needs of this state over the politics of party. He was a true statesman and a fine example of a bipartisan leader. Oklahoma is a better place today because of his service to this state, and he will be greatly missed.”

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“Upon learning of Governor Bellmon’s passing today I am very reminiscent of our family’s personal and political ties to the first Republican Governor in state history. Aside from being an honorable and historic leader in our state, he was a good friend to all Oklahomans, including the Lamb family.

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“Governor Bellmon was a true statesman who exhibited consistent and honorable leadership, and he was also a family man.

In addition to his service to the state of Oklahoma, he served his country in battle as a soldier and later served as a U.S. Senator. He departs leaving a legacy of dedicated service for future state leaders to emulate.

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“Henry Bellmon is a giant in Oklahoma history. He served his country, his state, and his family with great honor and always with humility. He leaves a legacy of service to which any public official would and should aspire.

“Politically, Henry Bellmon put the Republican Party on the map in Oklahoma, and set the path for its growth over the subsequent decades. But he transcended partisan politics, and I join Republicans and Democrats alike in honoring his memory today.”

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Senator Myers Honors 101 Ranch Old Timers

Members of the 101 Ranch Old Timers Association visited the State Capitol recently to see a print of the ranch's majestic residence headquarters, the Miller Mansion. The print, sponsored by Sen. David and Sara Myers, hangs in the lower level of the Capitol along with several other historical pictures including a print of Will Rogers. During their visit, Sen. Myers also presented the members with a large panoramic picture of the ranch to be displayed at the 101 Ranch Old Timers Museum in Ponca City.

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Following Tuesday's announcement of further state revenue shortfalls, State Sen. Randy Brogdon believes across-the-board funding cuts could have been avoided with better leadership and responsible prioritized budgeting during the 2009 session.

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The Senate Democratic caucus has chosen Oklahoma City State Senator Andrew Rice as leader designate for the 2011-2012 legislative session. The current Democratic Leader, Senator Charlie Laster (D-Shawnee) will continue serving as leader for the upcoming session slated to commence in February 2010, but will step down as leader after the Nov. 2010 elections. Laster has served as Democratic Floor Leader since January of 2007.

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“I don’t think anyone should be surprised by the numbers just reported on state tax revenues. There had been no signs that the economic climate had improved from July to August, and that was confirmed today.

“We will continue to monitor the state revenue picture before making any firm determinations as to how to move forward.

“State agency heads will have to make appropriate adjustments, and we will continue our dialogue with the Governor and Speaker Benge on the long-term solutions to this challenge.”

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The Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee will begin examining wrecker service compensation in the state on Wednesday, September 16. Senator Don Barrington, who chairs the committee, requested the interim study earlier this year.

“I want this interim study to help determine what a fair and equitable charge is for wrecker service. Due to inflation and increased operational costs in the industry, wreckers are not being fully compensated,” said Barrington, R-Lawton. “We need to look at ways for wreckers to be compensated for the services they provide in the state.”

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Sweeden Encourages Swine Flu Preparedness

Sen. Joe Sweeden is encouraging Oklahomans to prepare for significant increases in swine flu infections this fall. Sweeden this week praised the efforts of the Oklahoma State Health Department, which is surveying medical practices and labs statewide to estimate the spread of H1N1 influenza in Oklahoma. The Department has also launched a swine flu website providing fact sheets and information regarding the disease.

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Oklahoma Senate on Twitter

Members of the media and the public alike can now get updates from the Oklahoma State Senate on Twitter. The tweets will be sent by the Senate Communications Department, a nonpartisan staff division that serves all 48 members of the Oklahoma State Senate. The messages, also known as tweets, will include updates on key committee and task force meetings, press conferences and floor action on specific legislation.

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Having played an integral part in facilitating communication and cooperation between the Oklahoma Citizen Advocates for Recovery and Treatment Association (OCARTA) and the state legislature, Sen. Don Barrington was recently named 2009 Legislator of the Year by OCARTA.

OCARTA Executive Director Donna Woods Bauer praised Barrington for his support of the organization and efforts to make a significant contribution to the lives of Oklahomans affected by addiction.

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State Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, has been appointed vice chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Standing Committee on Education. The appointment was made by current NCSL president, Georgia State Sen. Don Balfour. NCSL is a bipartisan organization made up of lawmakers and staff from all 50 state legislatures.

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There is a tremendous difference between education and indoctrinationand citizens and parents in every city, county and state of the nation need to pay very close attention to what is planned for September 8, 2009. Thats according to State Sen. Steve Russell, who said he has been inundated with concern from constituents following news reports that President Obama planned a satellite address to the nations school children this coming Tuesday.

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“This is great news not just for Stillwater and Payne County, but for the state of Oklahoma as a whole,” said Coffee. “Clearly, Mercury Marine has had a significant and profitable presence in Stillwater for years, but their decision to bring more jobs to Oklahoma is real and tangible evidence that the Right to Work law passed earlier this decade and the lawsuit reform law that is about to go into effect are good for business and good for our state.

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