Sen. Anthony Sykes on Monday said his committee will move forward with a scheduled study on the issue of civil asset forfeiture. A Tuesday meeting at the Tulsa Police Academy has been rescheduled for 1:30 p.m. after the author of the study requested to withdraw previously scheduled morning presentations.
The proposal was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sykes is chairman of the committee.read more.
Sen. Kyle D. Loveless withdrew his request Friday for an interim study of civil asset forfeiture in Oklahoma. The study was scheduled for September 1 at the Tulsa Police Academy. The location of the meeting quickly garnered criticism from the public, committee members and the media.
“I believe the topic of civil asset forfeiture is too important to be overshadowed by politics. I would prefer to hold an open and transparent discussion on civil asset forfeiture so both sides of the issue can go on the record to present their cases,” said Loveless, R-Oklahoma City.read more.
State Sen. Larry Boggs issued the following statement in reaction to the recent death of State Labor Commissioner Mark Costello. Costello died following an altercation with his son, Christian Costello.
“The tragic loss of State Labor Commissioner Mark Costello is felt by many this week as he was an outstanding man who embraced his duties as a state leader with a strong sense of compassion and responsibility. He was a respected member of the Oklahoma community and a friend who will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”read more.
I am shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Commissioner Costello. Oklahoma has lost a leader who had a unique passion for politics and took great pride in the work he did on behalf of all Oklahomans. He was a model public servant, and we are all better for the example and legacy he leaves behind. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in their time of mourning. Senate Pres. Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulparead more.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Costello was a kind, generous man. He had a heart for public service and a sincere desire to institute good public policy. We are all shocked and saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues during this extremely difficult time.Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks, D-Normanread more.
Sen. Bryce Marlatt on Tuesday said he intends to file legislation to give Oklahoma teachers an across the board pay increase in the coming legislative session. Marlatt said the state’s teacher shortage has reached a point of crisis, with school administrators across the state struggling to fill teaching vacancies.
The State Department of Education has received an unusually high number of requests for emergency teaching certifications, which allow candidates who have not completed standard education and training requirements to teach in state classrooms, he said.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate leadership recently appointed Sen. Jason Smalley to serve as Chairman of the Senate Pensions Committee.
“I’m honored to have been entrusted to chair this important legislative committee,” said Smalley, R-Stroud. “We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our state employees’ retirement funds and to protect the long-term stability of the state’s pensions systems.”read more.
Sen. Jim Halligan, R-Stillwater, has decided that the 2016 session will be his last to serve in the Oklahoma Legislature. Before being elected to the Senate in 2008, Halligan, who chairs the Appropriation Subcommittee on Education, was president of Oklahoma State University. He issued the following statement on Wednesday:read more.