OKLAHOMA CITY –Sen. Bryce Marlatt and Rep. Mike Jackson said a bill to ensure more equitable representation on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board has been signed into law. Marlatt and Jackson are the authors of Senate Bill 965, which was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday.
Oklahomans whose property was damaged in the May tornadoes need to be cautious when it comes to hiring someone to make roofing repairs. Taking the time to make sure a roofer is registered to do business in Oklahoma can protect property owners from being ripped off by scam artists who exploit storm victims.read more.
Each year as the legislative session draws to a close, leaders of each caucus are asked to grade the session and discuss which measures they see as victories or defeats. But as the Senate approached final adjournment, President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and Minority Leader Sean Burrage agreed that analysis should come later. read more.
The Senate has approved a package of tax relief measures to help Oklahoma tornado victims. Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, is the author of Senate Bill 330. He represents the district hardest hit by Monday’s EF5.
“We know that thousands of Oklahomans have lost everything, including their homes and their vehicles. Even with insurance, there can be a tremendous personal expense for replacing these things,” Sykes said. “This package of credits will help offset some of the cost for replacing homes and vehicles, and help businesses that were impacted.”
OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislators from southern Oklahoma praised the state legislature for its quick approval of legislation to help fund tornado relief efforts in Moore, Shawnee and other areas affected by Sunday and Monday’s tornadoes. Senate Bill 249, coauthored by Sen. Frank Simpson, appropriates $45 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to the State Emergency Fund through the Department of Emergency Management for matching federal disaster funds and for other disaster-related assistance in devastated areas.read more.
Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Charles Ortega said the selection of Altus Air Force Base for the first Formal Training Unit (FTU) for the Air Force’s new KC-46 air refueling tanker will have numerous benefits for the base and the city of Altus and Southwest Oklahoma.
The state Senate voted Wednesday to direct $45 million from the state Rainy Day Fund for immediate tornado disaster relief. Senate Bill 249, passed unanimously in the Senate, directs funds to the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management to aid recovery efforts in affected communities. SB 249 was passed in response to a request by Gov. Mary Fallin.
State Sen. Kim David said Friday that legislation to make Insure Oklahoma 100 percent state-funded will prevent 9,000 hard-working Oklahomans from losing their health insurance. David, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, said the plan is expected to be signed out of a Senate conference committee on Monday. However, before the language can be heard by the full Senate, House conferees must also approve the legislation.
The Senate honored the life and accomplishments of Oklahoma’s son, Gordon Cooper Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of his spaceflight. Sen. Ron Sharp presented Senate Resolution 34 declaring the day as “Gordon Cooper Day” in Oklahoma.
Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that would prohibit the use of welfare cash cards in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos. Authored by Sen. Rob Standridge, Senate Bill 667 would help ensure public assistance is ultimately being used to support families and children who need it most.
Hunting is one of Oklahoma’s top tourism activities generating millions in revenue for communities and businesses around the state. This year, Sen. Josh Brecheen authored Senate Bill 780 to address hunters illegally killing deer only for their antlers and leaving the carcasses to rot – a growing problem brought to his attention by a game warden and rancher in his district.
One of the main roadblocks faced by Oklahomans recently released from prison who are trying to reintegrate into society is a lack of finances to afford driver license reinstatement fees. The costs associated with reinstating a suspended driver license can range anywhere from $300 to $700, and for those already struggling to pay off court fines still owed after incarceration, such a sum can be in surmountable. In an effort to help these individuals, Sen.read more.
A measure to keep the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) in federal compliance, protect Oklahoma’s federal funding and help the agency fund numerous projects was signed into law Monday. Sen. Don Barrington, author of Senate Bill 652, said the bill will help improve services provided by the agency.
“This is an important bill that addresses several issues within the state Department of Public Safety including keeping the agency in federal compliance and providing it with much-needed funding,” said Barrington, R-Lawton.
After receiving unanimous approval from both the House and Senate, a bill to keep sex offenders from being employed in public schools was signed into law Monday. Senate Bill 283, by Sen. Josh Brecheen and Rep. Todd Thomsen, will require that the State Board of Education be alerted when a school employee is charged with a sex offense.
Senate Democratic Leader, Sean Burrage, Claremore:
“This budget bill is just another example of our legislature lacking the political courage to tell Oklahomans exactly how and where we are spending their money.read more.
The Oklahoma state Senate passed Tuesday the Fiscal Year 2014 General Appropriations Budget to fund state government operations. HB 2301 passed the Senate by a vote of 28-20.
HB 2301 is a fiscally conservative budget plan for Fiscal Year 2014, including targeted increases in resources for teaching in the classroom, child welfare, and the maintenance of state-owned assets. Most state agencies will not see an increase in spending under HB 2301. In total, the General Appropriations Budget includes approximately $7.1 billion.
With lake season quickly approaching, Gov. Fallin signed legislation Monday to ensure eligibility for boat rental businesses to operate in state parks. Sen. Bill Brown, author of Senate Bill 374, said the measure will protect legitimate, rule-abiding businesses.
Pending final passage, an additional judge will be elected by the voters of Cleveland, Garvin and McClain counties during the next election cycle. State Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and State Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, Chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, announced their agreement Tuesday.
“I am happy that the people will be making the decision,” Sykes said. “The prior versions that contained the effective date of January 12, 2015 were unacceptable.”
Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, issued a statement following Tuesday’s announcement from Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, unveiling an agreement for creating an additional judgeship for the voters of Cleveland, Garvin and McClain counties:read more.
Sen. Rob Standridge this week said the state of Oklahoma has an opportunity to establish itself as a leader in addressing the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. While many studies show prescription drug abuse is a growing trend across the country, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rank Oklahoma among the top states for both prescription painkiller sales and drug overdose death rates.