State Capitol, Oklahoma City President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, announced on Monday that he had chosen Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, as the next Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Justice will replace Senator Clark Jolley, who was recently named the committees Chairman.
"Senator Ron Justice is a perfect fit to serve as the next Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee," Bingman said. "He is an experienced, thoughtful legislator with deep respect among our Senate members."
I’m so pleased by the recent news that Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Love’s Travel Stores have partnered to grow the compressed natural gas (CNG) infrastructure across the state. Beginning next month, Love’s plans to add ten publicly accessible CNG fueling stations at existing locations across Oklahoma. These stations, located in Altus, Ardmore, Chickasha, Guthrie, Guymon, Lawton, Norman, Okemah, Oklahoma City and Webbers Falls, will be built and operated in partnership with Chesapeake.read more.
President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, today announced the appointment of Senator Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, as the next Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Jolley, who currently serves as the committee’s Vice Chairman, will assume the Chairmanship previously held by the late Senator David Myers, effective immediately.read more.
Sen. Constance N. Johnson joined with Oklahoma State Senate staff Tuesday to collect food and supplies to fill sackpacks for the children at Positive Tomorrows, an Oklahoma City School for homeless children. Each year in August, the Senator partners with the Office Depot Foundation and the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) to distribute backpacks to school children. This year, however, the organization sent more items than expected so the legislator was able to help multiple schools as well as organizations that help adults receive educational services.
"As with all Oklahomans we were deeply saddened to learn of Thursday’s fatal plane crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of former State Senator Olin Branstetter and his wife Paula as well as the families of coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna.
“The State School Board and Superintendent Barresi finally got it right when they met today and rescinded the emergency rules on the supplemental online courses they handed down three weeks ago. Our local school boards have a great deal of insight to offer the bureaucrats in Oklahoma City and it is my hope that in the future the State Board will reach out to educators on the ground and join in a cooperative effort to do what’s best for our children.”
Senate Democratic Leader Sean Burrage said the State School Board failed to get any input from local school board members, educators or school administrators before adopting emergency rules last month on supplemental online courses. Burrage, D-Claremore, said Gov. Mary Fallin should reject the rules.read more.
Each year, hundreds of children in Oklahoma are the victims of sexual abuse and many more suffer in silence. Sen. Harry Coates wants to help better protect the state's youngest citizens by strengthening punishments against those who witness sexual abuse of a minor but do not report it.read more.
President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, released the following statement Monday in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to take up a challenge by small businesses and 26 states to President Obama’s unconstitutional health care law:
“Oklahomans know President Obama overreached when he forced his unconstitutional government healthcare takeover through Congress. That’s why our state voted overwhelmingly to keep Obamacare, and its individual mandate to buy government-sanctioned health insurance, from becoming law.
“This is simply devastating news. I just want everyone to know that Senator Myers was one of the kindest, most genteel and honest men I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. My wife’s hometown is Ponca City, so we’ve always felt particularly close to David and Sara. He was beloved by the entire Senate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Myers family.”read more.
“I am shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Judy Copeland, General Counsel to the Governor. The times that I had the pleasure of working with her she was very professional, open and friendly. It's unfortunate any time someone’s life is cut short by stroke, but it’s particularly disturbing when it’s someone as young and healthy as she.read more.
"I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to my friend Senator Burrage on his election as the next Minority Leader in the Oklahoma State Senate. I have had the privilege of working with Sean for several years and have seen first hand his thoughtfulness and temperament. Though we may not agree on every issue, I believe Senator Burrage to be a man of integrity who will facilitate a healthy and honest public debate as the Senate works to move Oklahoma forward."
Claremore lawmaker Sean Burrage has been chosen to serve as the next Senate Democratic Floor Leader. Members of the caucus held a vote on Tuesday to decide who would follow Sen. Andrew Rice in the leadership post. Rice, D-Oklahoma City, recently announced he would resign from the Senate effective January 15.
Burrage said he was honored to lead the Senate Democrats in 2012.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Diabetes is a growing problem in Oklahoma especially among the state’s minority communities. Occurrence of diabetes among American Indians and African Americans is double that of Caucasians. Sen. Constance N. Johnson and Rep. Randy McDaniel will be joining other community leaders Monday, November 14 for the 3rd Annual Capitol Dome Blue World Diabetes Day Program at the State Capitol to help raise awareness about the growing health epidemic.
Senate author of the original Stand Your Ground law and co-author of the amended version extending protection to businesses, Sen. Harry Coates is concerned about the misinformation being promoted by advocates pushing for Jerome Ersland’s release. Advocates have stated there was a “loophole” in the law that failed to protect the rights of the pharmacist, but Coates says this is not the case.read more.
State Capitol, Oklahoma City –Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman said if anyone wanted further proof about the need for lawsuit reform in Oklahoma, they should just look at Monday’s 11th hour rush by trial attorneys to file cases before a series of new laws took effect on November 1.
According to the Oklahoma County Court Clerk’s office, on a typical day, 50 to 70 civil suits are filed. On Monday alone, 532 lawsuits were filed, 310 of which were negligence cases, compared to an average of 5 to 10 negligence cases a day.