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Press Releases

Showing: February, 2016

The full Senate Appropriations Committee has approved Senator David Holt’s legislation to make “revenge porn” against the law in Oklahoma. Senate Bill 1257 will now advance to consideration on the Senate floor. Approved Wednesday on a vote of 37 to 1, the measure criminalizes the dissemination of non-consensual pornography, sometimes known as “revenge porn.”

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A bill that could potentially save the lives of domestic violence victims has won approval by the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the full Senate for a vote. Senate Bill 1491, by Senator Bryce Marlatt said his legislation deals with how many prior convictions of domestic violence are required to establish a pattern of physical abuse.

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Late Tuesday, the Oklahoma Retail Liquor Association (RLAO) filed paperwork with the Oklahoma Secretary of State that would place a question on the ballot in November to allow full-strength beer in grocery stores and convenience stores, but virtually eliminate grocery stores’ ability to obtain wine licenses. In addition, wine would not be sold in convenience stores under their proposal.

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“It is unfortunate the Personal Asset Protection Act was not given a fair hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Oklahomans of all walks of life and political ideologies support civil asset forfeiture reform. However, Chairman Sykes did not think their voice should count in the political process. I am disappointed but not discouraged. I am resolute and will work to make sure real reforms are put in to place to protect the private property of Oklahomans.

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Sen. Mike Mazzei issued the following statement after Tuesday’s vote by the Senate Finance Committee approving SB 1073, a measure that would delay the reduction of the state income tax top rate from 5.25 to 5 percent and eliminates “double-dipping,” which is the itemized deduction for state and local taxes.

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Senate honors Cherokee Nation
. (Left to right) Senate Minority Leader John Sparks,
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, Victoria Vazquez, Deputy Speaker of the Tribal Council,
Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Miss Cherokee Ja-Li-Si Pittman, Principal Chief Bill John Baker,
Little Cherokee Ambassadors Nathan Lowrey, Max Purget, Maysi Fields, Logan Dreadfulwater,
Kashyah Teehee and Jr. Miss Cherokee Madison Whitekiller listen as a Senate Citation
honoring the Cherokee Nation is read in the Senate Chamber.

Senate honors Cherokee Nation

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The Senate Education Committee has given unanimous, bipartisan support to legislation to eliminate state-mandated End of Instruction exams (EOIs). Under current law, high school students must pass four of seven EOIs in order to graduate from high school, even if they received passing grades in all required classes.

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Sen. David Holt, the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, and House Speaker Jeff Hickman announced today that “American Ninja Warrior” is coming to Oklahoma for the first time and will shoot on the south plaza of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

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“Several bills dealing with school district mergers, annexations, and consolidations have been introduced this session in the Senate. These measures take a thoughtful and pragmatic approach to streamline administrative costs to save money and improve the quality of education offered to students. At the heart of it, the members who have worked on these bills share the goal of ensuring we’re doing the best we can to focus resources in the classroom, where they most directly benefit Oklahoma children.

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Senate approves uninsured motorist bill


Under current state law, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) suspends the license of anyone found driving without insurance. On Wednesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 260, by Sen. Ron Sharp, to require such offenders to provide proof of insurance to DPS in the form of an SR-22 form before their suspension for driving without insurance can be lifted.

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State Senators Nathan Dahm and Anthony Sykes said a bill ensuring legislative input on state agency rules will create greater accountability when determining policies impacting the lives of Oklahomans. Senate Bill 1130 clarifies Oklahoma law to ensure the Legislature’s authority to approve, amend or disapprove agency rules.

Dahm, principal author of SB 1130, said the measure was approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

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A long-term plan to modernize Rogers County’s transportation infrastructure and ease growing congestion in Claremore was announced on Friday by Sen. Marty Quinn, R-Claremore, and Rep. Mark Lepak, R-Claremore.  For the past several months, the two lawmakers have been working with Transportation Sec. Gary Ridley to secure support for a project to complete a new transportation corridor south of Claremore connecting State Highway 20 to the Will Rogers Turnpike.

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OKLAHOMA CITY— State Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, was recently appointed to serve on the Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference.  Thompson was chosen to serve earlier this month by Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman.

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Responding to recent discussion throughout the district about his stance on proposed legislation that would force school consolidation, State Senator Joseph Silk issued the following statement today:

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Gore was well represented at the State Capitol this week with several people visiting for the governor’s state of the state address on Monday and for Rose Day on Wednesday, according to State Senator Mark Allen, R-Spiro.

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The Vice-Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Greg Treat, said Thursday that his legislation to modify how Pre-K classes are funded will not be heard this session. Senate Bill 1324 would have removed early childhood education from the State Aid formula and allowed local school districts to make decisions on Pre-K education freeing up much-needed funds for K-12 public education.

In January, the State Board of Education had to make a mandatory three percent or $46.7 million cut to its budget because of the General Revenue failure for FY’16.

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A portrait of Oklahoma-native Lt. Col. Ernest Childers, the only Native American Guardsman to earn the nation’s highest award for valor, was dedicated Wednesday by the Senate. The piece, by artist Mike Wimmer, is sponsored by Sen. Bill and Linda Brown along with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

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Senators issue Statement on legislative efforts to modernize Oklahoma laws on alcohol sales

State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, principal author of Senate Bill 383, and Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, principal author of Senate Joint Resolution 68, issued statements Wednesday about work on those measures which seek to modernize laws in Oklahomas statutes and constitution dealing with alcohol sales.

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During the first week of the legislative session, civil asset forfeiture reform efforts continued to gain steam. The Oklahoma members of the National Federation of Independent Business released their annual legislative priorities Monday. Of all the topics, civil asset forfeiture reform garnered the most support.

“Civil asset forfeiture is not just a private property or liberty issue—it’s a business issue,” said Loveless, R-Oklahoma City. “I am pleased 93 percent of small-business owners polled support legislation to reform civil asset forfeiture.”

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The chairman of the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee has filed legislation to put the brakes on implementation of a capitated managed care system for Medicaid in Oklahoma. Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, said the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has requested proposals creating such a system. Senate Joint Resolution 56 would require OHCA to end that process, and would require legislative approval before the authority could move forward with a revised plan.

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