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Press Releases

Showing: April, 2011

Hundreds of Oklahomans from around the state will be at the State Capitol May 3 for the third annual “Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the Capitol”. The free event is open to the public and helps raise awareness about the disease and it’s affects on the state’s population as well as provide educational tools to victims and their families.

The Co-Chairs of the educational event are breast cancer survivor, State Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre and Breast Impressions’ founder, Judi Grove.

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"On behalf of every member of the Senate Democratic Caucus, I strongly condemn the reprehensible racist and sexist comments made by Rep. Sally Kern yesterday on the floor of the House of Representatives. Such immoral beliefs have no place in a civilized society. I am shocked that a member of the legislature would show such disrespect and mean-spiritedness by expressing such antiquated and bigoted views.

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This week, Senate Bill 826, a bill to reform binding arbitration, was not heard in the House before the deadline to hear Senate bills. The bill could be considered in the House in the 2012 session. Principal author of the measure, Senator David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, made the following remarks.

"I want to thank Representative Scott Martin for his incredible leadership, and Speaker Kris Steele, for supporting Representative Martin and this important bill every step of the way.

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Members of the Legislative Black Caucus said they were shocked by racist and sexist comments made Wednesday evening by State Rep. Sally Kern. Kern, R-Oklahoma City, debating in favor of a joint resolution that could end affirmative action guidelines for state entities.

Caucus Chair Constance N. Johnson, a Democrat representing Oklahoma County, said she was stunned by media reports that Kern had said minorities and women earn less because they don’t work as hard.

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Sen. Rob Johnson on Thursday applauded members of the Oklahoma House for approving Senate Joint Resolution 15, which would allow voters to approve an amendment prohibiting discrimination and preferential treatment in state government.

Johnson’s measure would ban programs that allow discrimination against, or give preferential treatment to, any person on the basis of race, sex, color or national origin.

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Today the Oklahoma Senate passed House Bill 2140, authored by President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa and House Speaker Kris Steele. The measure will consolidate administrative processes and help to eliminate duplication of services.

“We must be proactive in finding ways to make our state government more affordable and less expensive to the taxpayer. This is a vital part of our government right-sizing efforts in conjunction with the Governor and House, and I am pleased to see this bill one step closer to becoming law,” said Bingman.

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Statement from Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, author of SB 529

Wednesday evenings House vote in favor of Senate Bill 529, the Erin Elizabeth Swezey Act, is another important step toward protecting the lives of innocent Oklahomans by strengthening our drunk driving laws.

I want to express my profound thanks to House Speaker Kris Steele and Floor Leader Dan Sullivan for ensuring this bill was heard, along with my House author, Rep. Jason Nelson, for all he has done.

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Tuesday the Oklahoma House approved a bill that will give businesses and individuals the opportunity to play a role in providing quality education for Oklahoma children. Known as the “Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act,” Senate Bill 969 by Senator Dan Newberry, R-Sand Springs, passed in the House by a vote of 64 to 33.

“I’m very pleased the House passed the private scholarship bill,” said Newberry. “This is very important to Oklahoma kids and it gives under privileged children opportunity to succeed and receive the education they deserve.”

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Senate Democratic Floor Leader Andrew Rice said Republicans voted against fiscal accountability when they voted to block a Democratic amendment Tuesday. Rice, D-Oklahoma City, said the language would have been placed in House Bill 1225, a bill to require initiative petitions to include information on how any proposals requiring state dollars would be funded.

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Senate Republicans blocked an amendment earlier today by Sen. Tom Ivester, D-Sayre, which would make it more difficult to reduce the size of Oklahomas government. The amendment would have required all legislation heard on the Senate floor that would result in a loss of revenues include information on how those revenues would be replaced. Republicans said that amendment would undo recent major reforms.

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The state Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would require physicians to administer abortion inducing drugs in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. Co-authored by Sen. Greg Treat, House Bill 1970 will protect patients and promote life.

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The Senate Republican Rural Caucus met with members of the Forestry Division from the Department of Agriculture today to discuss pressing issues regarding wildfires. Oklahoma has already seen a large amount of wildfires this year, and will only increase with the lack of rainfall expected in the western half of the state.

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The full Senate has given approval to House Bill 1614, a measure to move Oklahoma’s presidential primary from February to March. Republicans David Holt and Gary Banz are the Senate and House authors, respectively. Holt said new national rules adopted by Republicans and Democrats are forcing states like Oklahoma to move their primaries to March if they want to participate in the national conventions.

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A bill naming the southbound I-44 Bridge over the Red River in honor of President George W. Bush is on its way to Gov. Mary Fallin for consideration. On Monday, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in approval of Senate Bill 304. Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, is principal author of the measure.

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Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus applauded Sen. David Holt for his leadership Wednesday in garnering Senate approval for a House bill which will provide support to the Oklahoma agency that oversees the administering of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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The full Senate has given its approval to a bill expanding community sentencing programs and GPS monitoring for nonviolent offenders. Senate author Patrick Anderson said House Bill 2131, which was approved Wednesday with a bipartisan vote of 44 to 3, would save taxpayer dollars while ensuring the state’s most dangerous criminals are kept behind bars. Anderson said Oklahoma currently spends $500 million on adult corrections.

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Air Quality Mandates Would Kill Jobs

Recent efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate new air quality regulations in Oklahoma will kill jobs and competitiveness if not aggressively challenged at every turn, according to Senate President Pro-Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa.

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Loved ones attending funerals will have more protection from protesters thanks to legislation signed into law Monday. Sen. Josh Brecheen was the author of Senate Bill 406 which lengthens the time and distance that protesters must stay away from services.

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Castiglione, Holder Join AG Pruitt to Cheer Passage of Bill

Legislation to modify the Uniform Athletes Agent Act passed the full Senate today. Authored by President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, and Rep. Todd Thomsen, R-Ada, HB 1586 will hit agents that break the law with stricter penalties. Bingman was encouraged to see the bill supported by a majority of Senators, 47 to 0.

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Oklahoma has taken another step toward addressing the $16 billion in unfunded liability facing the state’s public pension systems. House Bill 2132, which was authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and presented by Senator Mike Mazzei, chairman of the Select Committee on Pensions, was approved Tuesday on a bipartisan vote of 33 to 13.

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