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Press Releases

Showing: October, 2017


To deliver teachers a $3,000 pay raise and to prevent massive cuts to mental health and other health care services, the Oklahoma Senate in a bipartisan vote approved a resolution Thursday requesting the House of Representatives amend the budget deal to include an increase in the gross production tax of oil and natural gas.

The Senate resolution asks the House to amend the budget agreement bill (HB 1035X) to include an increase in the gross production tax on new oil and gas wells to four percent for a period of 36 months.

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On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down, in a 6-3 decision, a fee that would have been charged to drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles, declaring it an unconstitutional tax.

Senator Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, agrees with the court’s decision.

“The Oklahoma Supreme Court made the right decision here,” said Bergstrom, “but it will cut this year's revenue by about another $400,000, which probably means more cuts in the budget.”

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and House Speaker Charles McCall today reached an agreement adjusting the 2018 fiscal year budget that, among other things, helps fill the $215 million budget hole and puts Oklahoma on a more stable budget path, as well as provides a needed teacher pay raise.

If passed by the Legislature, the agreement would:
Place a $1.50 tax on a package of cigarettes.
Provide for a 6-cent fuel tax increase.
Revise taxes on alcoholic beverages.

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State Senator Roger Thompson has again been asked to share his expertise on creating sound, conservative fiscal policy with his appointment to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Budgets and Revenue Committee.

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On Thursday, October 12, the Apache Chamber recognized 2017 “Town Treasure” recipients, Pepper and Clorinda Tsotoke and Richard and Betty Vail.  State Senator Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, Senate District 26, presented citations to both couples at the banquet and issued the following statement with State Representative Scooter Park, House District 65, on Friday.

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Although the state Capitol will be closed beginning Friday evening, October 13 through Sunday, October 22, citizens will still be able to contact members and staff for assistance via phone. The closure is necessary for crews to replace the building’s electrical system, part of which includes original wiring installed over 100 years ago. This marks another key step in the multi-year interior and exterior repair and restoration project currently underway at the Capitol.

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Shawnee State Senator Ron Sharp held an interim study this week at the State Capitol to discuss potentially adding instruction about tribal sovereignty and tribal histories to the Oklahoma public school curriculum.

Thursday’s interim study concentrated on building a partnership between the state of Oklahoma and tribal governments to bring American Indian histories and cultures into classrooms across the state. Several state and educational leaders were in attendance and offered testimony in their area of expertise.

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More than 14 percent of Oklahomans suffer from Type 2 diabetes with 52 people diagnosed each day. One in four Oklahomans don’t realize they have the disease and it’s estimated that over one million more Oklahomans are prediabetic and most are unaware of it.

Sen. Frank Simpson will hold an interim study on Tuesday, October 10th at the state Capitol to find ways to better educate the public about this preventable disease as well as decrease the number of Oklahomans suffering from the disease.

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By Sen. Paul Scott

Due to a lack of a budget agreement, the legislature has rightfully decided to adjourn until an agreement has been made.  By adjourning, we’ll continue holding committee meetings about the budget without incurring daily expenses.

Recent events and state issues are foremost on my mind; however, I also care about what’s happening nationally.  I want to share my thoughts on the NFL kneeling situation. I simply wish to provide a peaceful alternative for individuals to share their beliefs without unnecessarily hurting others. 

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