In order to allow the Governor to focus on the state's budget and other official business, Sen. Harry Coates has filed legislation to remove her completely from the parole process. Senate Joint Resolution 46 would send the issue to a vote of the people in November 2012.read more.
The chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Pensions said he was extremely encouraged that the solvency of the state’s largest retirement system has dramatically improved in recent months. Dr. James Wilbanks, Executive Director of the Teachers’ Retirement System, announced the decrease in unfunded liability in the pension fund on Thursday.
State Sen. David Holt responded Wednesday to a recent study ranking all 50 states based on government union power versus taxpayer rights. The nonpartisan, data-based ranking, called the “Big Labor vs. Taxpayer Index,” ranked Oklahoma dead last in the entire Southern United States for taxpayer rights. Oklahoma was ranked 24th overall, meaning that 23 other states are more favorable to taxpayers.read more.
Sen. Greg Treat has requested figures from the Executive Director of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM) showing the progress of the agency’s private fundraising efforts.
Treat said it was important that Oklahoma taxpayers and the Legislature see the agency is making a concerted effort to raise private funds to complete the project.read more.
The co-chairs of a special joint legislative committee studying the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act announced Wednesday that a new website has been launched to help Oklahomans stay informed. Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Glen Mulready said the website would make it easier for anyone interested in the committee’s work to stay informed.read more.
“State Labor Commissioner Mark Costello’s comments this week comparing state workers to feral hogs was atrocious and completely unprofessional. I think the Commissioner has forgotten that his job is to protect state workers not undermine them, which seems to be the purpose of his newly created nonprofit.read more.
Sen. Ralph Shortey is lending his support to backers of Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland in their effort to petition the Governor for a pardon. Ersland in July was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in the shooting death of an unconscious robber.read more.
Pointing to the need to maintain the integrity of Oklahoma’s election process, the State Senate has filed a motion to intervene in Sen. Jim Wilson’s lawsuit challenging the bipartisan Senate Redistricting Act of 2011. Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman said the motion was filed late Thursday afternoon in Oklahoma County District Court.read more.
"As our state and nation approaches this emotional milestone of the September 11th attacks, my hope is that we as Americans gain a deeper understanding of our kinship with others suffering from ongoing acts of terrorism and political violence around the world. Almost every day people in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq are living the horrors of their own 9/11s. And our military personnel continue to serve in extremely precarious environments in the Middle East and South Asia.read more.
The Supreme Court has entered an order finding the Senate Redistricting Act complies with Article 5 Section 9A of the Constitution.
“I am pleased by the Supreme Court’s decision today confirming what we have said all along: the State Senate’s bipartisan redistricting act is constitutional. Given the amount of time, hard work and collaboration that went into creating these new districts, we had no doubt as to their constitutionality.read more.