If Congress does not reach a budget agreement, the Bush tax cuts will expire and citizens’ income taxes will increase significantly. Recognizing this, the State Equalization Board went ahead and added $60 million into their revenue estimates for the legislature to reflect what the state could bring in through increased taxes and less claimed deductions. Sen. Ralph Shortey believes any increase in tax revenue caused by Congress’ lack of action should be given back to Oklahoma taxpayers, not used to grow state government.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman issued the following statement Thursday in response to the certification of estimated revenue available for the state budget in fiscal year 2014 by the Oklahoma Board of Equalization.
Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and House Speaker-elect T.W. Shannon Thursday announced the formation of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security.
“In light of recent events, the time has come for us to assess the current school security system in Oklahoma,” said Lt. Governor Todd Lamb. “The Oklahoma Commission on School Security will provide an avenue for some of Oklahoma’s finest to collaborate towards a common goal. With the right knowledge and resources, we can effectively provide a safer school climate for our most precious commodity.”read more.
Students who are unable to meet certain requirements under the Achieving Classroom Excellence Act (ACE) would still be able to graduate under legislation filed recently by Sen. Earl Garrison. Senate Bill 11 would allow a composite score of 18 or higher (equivalent to the 34th percentile or higher) on the ACT exam to count as satisfactorily completing all of the ACE end-of-instruction testing requirements.
Sen. Harry Coates will be continuing his fight for immigration reform in Oklahoma this coming session. On Thursday, he filed Senate Bill 22 to create the Guest Worker Permit Program Act. He filed the bill last year and although it did not receive a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, he hopes the measure will be given fair consideration this year.
OKLAHOMA CITY – On Monday, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman announced the committee assignments for the 54th Legislature. Sen. Larry Boggs will be serving on five committees.
The freshman legislator has been appointed to the Agriculture and Rural Development, Tourism and Wildlife, Veterans and Military Affairs, and Public Safety Committees as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY – On Monday, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman announced the committee assignments for the 54th Legislature. Sen. Ron Sharp will be serving on five committees.
The freshman legislator has been appointed to the Education, Tourism and Wildlife, Veterans and Military Affairs, and Business and Labor Committees as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation.read more.
State Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, issued the following statement regarding Oklahoma’s improved ranking by the United Health Foundation. (Ranked 46th in the nation last year, the report issued Tuesday ranks Oklahoma at 43rd).
“Just three years ago, Oklahoma was ranked 49th by the United Health Foundation in their national report. The fact that in those three years we’ve been able to move to 43rd is proof of our dedication to addressing critical public health concerns. I particularly want to point out the hard work of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.read more.
The Senate Democratic Caucus announced their leadership team for the 54th Legislature Monday. Senator Sean Burrage will once again serve as Democratic Leader.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, announced committee assignments for Republican members on Monday. Committee chairs and vice chairs were announced last Thursday.
“There is a tremendous depth and breadth of experience and talent to draw from in the Republican Caucus,” Bingman said. “We’ve worked to structure committee memberships that will enable us to build on an agenda dedicated to job creation and economic growth benefiting our state now and in the future.”read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Two contracts were awarded recently for major I-35 improvements in Norman, Sen. Rob Standridge and Rep. Scott Martin announced.read more.
“Secretary Coffee is a dear friend and a leader of immense talent. Though I am saddened by the news of his departure as Secretary of State, I know Glenn will continue to serve Oklahomans for many years to come—for that I am thankful. His contributions to building a common-sense, conservative majority cannot be measured. He is, and always will be, a public servant. The state of Oklahoma, without a doubt, is better off because of Glenn’s public service. I wish him the absolute best in his future endeavors.”read more.
On Thursday, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman appointed Sen. Frank Simpson to serve as Chairman of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. The retired Navy veteran has served as vice-chair of the committee since getting elected in 2010.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, announced Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman for standing committees and Chair and Vice Chairs of all Appropriations Subcommittees today.
“I am proud to work with an outstanding group of leaders dedicated to advancing a pro-jobs, pro-growth legislative agenda,” said Bingman. “This team of chairs and vice chairs will steer important legislative committees focused on solutions to the challenges facing our state.”
The State Senate’s committee Chairs and Vice Chairs for the coming session:read more.