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Press Releases

Showing: October, 2011

Twelve months of furloughs and losing nearly thirty percent of their staff over the last three years hasn’t dampened the spirits or generosity of the employees at the Oklahoma State Senate who donated thousands of dollars to various state charities including the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank this month.

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State Sen. Mark Allen said it was crucial for lawmakers to remember how critical the coal industry is, not only for communities in southeastern Oklahoma, but for the state’s economy as a whole. His comments came following a House member’s criticism of transferable coal tax credits.

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Sen. Constance N. Johnson and Rep. Randy McDaniel along with other advocates will present the 3rd Annual State Capitol Dome Blue World Diabetes Day Program on Monday, November 14 to help raise awareness about diabetes, a growing health epidemic which kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the 2nd floor Rotunda of the State Capitol. Open to the public, the program is part of an effort in which 1,100 monuments worldwide will be lit blue in observance of World Diabetes Day.

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Stronger DUI law starts Tuesday

Starting next Tuesday, November 1, Oklahomans who drive drunk will face tougher penalties—changes that supporters say will save lives. Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Jason Nelson authored the Erin Swezey Act last session, which won overwhelming approval by the legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin. The legislation was named for a 20-year-old Oklahoma State University student from Edmond who was killed in 2009 by a drunk driver with numerous DUI arrests and convictions.

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The Oklahoma State Senate has been named “Employer of the Year” by Oklahoma City’s Mayor’s Committee on Disability Concerns. President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman accepted the honor on behalf of the Senate, and was joined by former Senate intern, Hailey Mathis. The OU political science student was paralyzed in the May 3, 1999 tornado, but continues to live life to the fullest, completing an internship with the State Senate during the 2011 session.

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President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman has announced the hiring of Nathan Atkins as Leadership Assistant to the President Pro Tempore and Communications Director.

Atkins has an extensive background in government and politics.

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Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, Oklahoma school teachers and state employees using HealthChoice for insurance benefits will be forced to fill their prescriptions through an out-of-state mail order pharmacy, Sen. Patrick Anderson said Wednesday. The bureaucratic decision will result in the loss of approximately $75 million from the Oklahoma economy to New Jersey.

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The newest member of the Oklahoma State Senate is now officially on the job. Sen. Greg Childers was officially sworn in during a special ceremony in the Senate Chamber on Wednesday. Among the many friends, relatives and supporters attending the State Capitol ceremony were Childers’ wife, Melanie, and sons Cameron, 12, Connor, 8 and Cole, 6, who joined Childers on the floor for the oath of office.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – At their annual meeting, held in Tishomingo on October 13, the Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer (CPASA) recognized State Senator Frank Simpson for his work in the legislature to protect the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer.  Simpson received the OKA Award along with Senators Brian Bingman and Josh Brecheen and Representative Todd Thomson.  

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"Though we may not have always seen eye-to-eye on every issue, I have nothing but respect for Senator Rice and his service to the state of Oklahoma. He is compassionate, intellectually honest, and relentless in the defense of his constituents. I could not have asked for a better Senate colleague and Minority Leader counterpart.

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"Today I submitted letters to the Secretary of the Senate, President Pro Tempore Bingman, and Governor Fallin informing them that I will resign my duties as State Senator effective Jan. 15th, 2012.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman today issued the following statement in response to the election of Representative T.W. Shannon as House Speaker-designate:
"I want to offer my congratulations to Representative T.W. Shannon on his election as House Speaker-designate. He is undoubtedly a gifted legislator, a dedicated public servant, and a man of proven integrity.

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Oklahoma County District Judge Lisa Davis on Tuesday dismissed Sen. Jim Wilson’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Senate Redistricting plan.

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Members of the Senate Interim Study on Rural Fire Departments met this week to discuss issues regarding rural fire defense.

Sen. Mark Allen said the Interim Study was requested to give Senate members a better understanding of the needs and challenges faced by Oklahoma’s rural fire departments. Allen noted that as numerous wildfires have threatened rural areas in the current period of extreme drought, lawmakers must be aware of our firefighters’ operational needs.

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State Sen. Rick Brinkley is under personal attack after sharing his concerns about predatory lenders who affiliate themselves with small Oklahoma-based tribes. A group called The Native American Fair Commerce Coalition (NAFCC) has staged an aggressive public relations blitz attacking Brinkley. He recently spoke out against predatory lending practices in an investigative news story by CBS News and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI).

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