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Press Releases

Showing: February, 2015

The House of Representatives is the next stop for a measure that will strengthen state laws banning tobacco use on school property. Sen. Jim Halligan, R-Stillwater, and Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, are principal authors of Senate Bill 674, the “24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools Act,” which was approved by the full Senate on Thursday.

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Senate approves budget reform measure

The full Senate has given its approval to a bill that will reform the budgeting process to align resources with state priorities and measurable outcomes. Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, and Rep. Dennis Casey, R-Morrison, are the principal Senate and House authors of Senate Bill 189, the Performance Informed Budget and Transparency Act of 2015, which was approved on Wednesday.

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Sen. Holts election proposals advance

The Senate Rules Committee has advanced three of the proposals introduced by Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, to modernize Oklahomas election system and increase rapidly declining voter participation.

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – State Sen. Dan Newberry has filed legislation to create a poultry house contractor license.  The license, issued by the Construction Industries Board (CIB), would allow for the expansion of the poultry industry in Oklahoma. 

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Legislation aimed at educating children about sexual abuse and prevention has passed the Senate Education committee, clearing another hurdle and moving one step closer to becoming a law, according to State Senator Wayne Shaw, R-Grove.

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Sen. Kyle Loveless filed legislation this year to authorize the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) to propose a health benefits plan design to incentivize participants to purchase health services from providers with transparent pricing. Senate Bill 172, which was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday, is an effort to help state employees find the most affordable plans to meet their needs while also saving the state money.

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The Senate Education Committee approved legislation Tuesday to modify the financial qualifications of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP). Senator Corey Brooks, the principal author of Senate Bill 137, said the bill fixes a problem with the state’s tuition reimbursement program that has been unfairly keeping some students from qualifying for it.

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The Senate Finance committee on Tuesday approved two proposals that would establish a process for measuring the effectiveness of economic incentives. Authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, the legislation would create a system to provide regular, independent evaluations of incentives to determine which are working and which are not.

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By Sen. Rob Standridge

 

We have a problem in Oklahoma – too many needs and not enough revenue.  Our biggest financial challenge is properly funding our education system.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman on Monday issued the following statement on anticipated revenue figures for the coming fiscal year.

As we have been expecting, the Board of Equalization Tuesday will certify revenue figures showing a budget shortfall of more than $600 million. While this presents us with a significant challenge, it also gives us a chance to take a closer look at state spending and the structure of our budget to determine where we can be more efficient.

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State Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, issued the following statement Thursday praising the life and service of Mike Thralls of Billings. Thralls became executive director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission in 1997 and served until his retirement in 2014. Prior to heading the Conservation Commission, he served as assistant commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. Thralls passed away this week.

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Legislation to reform the state’s budget process advanced from the Senate Rules committee on Wednesday. Senate Joint Resolution 30 would allow Oklahomans to vote on a proposal to dedicate every other legislative year exclusively to drafting the state’s budget.

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, author of the proposal, said the reform would bring increased scrutiny and transparency to the budget process.

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The Senate Appropriations Committee gave unanimous approval to the Performance Informed Budget and Transparency Act of 2015 Wednesday. Senate Bill 189, by Sen. Ron Sharp and Rep. Dennis Casey, is a new budgeting process that will allow for budget dollars to be aligned to state priorities and measurable outcomes.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday advanced legislation that would allow the state to utilize nitrogen hypoxia as an alternative method for executing death row prisoners.

Authored by Sen. Anthony Sykes, Senate Bill 794, states that nitrogen hypoxia will be used to carry out death sentences in the event that an appellate court rules the state’s existing lethal injection procedure to be unconstitutional.

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The Senate Education Committee approved legislation Monday to better protect schools from unknowingly hiring sexual predators. Sen. Kyle Loveless says Senate Bill 301 will close a loophole that is allowing school employees to move from one school district to another after committing sexual crimes against minors.

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Inspired by the success and community support of the Coffee Bunker in Tulsa, Sen. Frank Simpson filed legislation this session to establish more veteran outreach centers around the state to help veterans who are struggling after returning from combat. On Thursday, the Senate Veterans Committee approved Senate Bill 713, which would require the development of seven peer-supported, drop-in centers for veterans.

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State Sen. Anthony Sykes, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement Tuesday regarding Senate Bill 13, also known as the “hoodie” bill.

“After evaluating the legislation assigned to the Judiciary Committee this session, I have decided that Senate Bill 13 will not be heard so we may focus on other legislation before us.”—Senate Judiciary Chair Anthony Sykes, R-Moore.

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State Sen. Brian Crain issued the following statement Monday on the loss of long-time legislator Jerry Smith.

“Jerry Smith was my predecessor in the Senate. He was a diligent and thoughtful legislator and was respected by members on both sides of the aisle. Senate District 39, and indeed our entire state are better for Jerry’s service, and he will be missed by all who knew him.”—Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa

Services will be held Friday, February 6, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at New Haven United Methodist Church,
5603 South New Haven Avenue, in Tulsa.

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Jerry Smith was elected to the House of Representatives in 1972, and served the citizens of District 76 until he was elected to the State Senate in 1980. Smith served in the Senate, representing District 39, until his departure due to term limits in 2004. Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman on Monday issued the following statement on his passing.

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“I’m grateful to the governor for her efforts to work with members of the Legislature on the issues that matter most to Oklahoma. Her focus on jobs and the economy will allow us to build an even stronger business climate, and her support for priorities like government reform will help us in our efforts to craft a more efficient and effective state government. I share the governor’s enthusiasm for our future and look forward to working with her as we address the challenges facing our state.”—Senate Pres. Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa

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