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Press Releases

Showing: December, 2019
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, says Oklahoma ranks among the weakest in the nation when responding to Open Records and Freedom of Information Act requests. On Monday, he filed two bills, Senate Bills 1137 and 1154, to tackle this issue and bring the state up to standard.

SB 1154 would require any request under the Open Records Act to be fulfilled within 30 days. If the request is unable to be fulfilled in that time period, the record provider could receive an additional 30 days to prepare the requested documents upon written notice to the requestor.

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Following back-to-back historic pay raises and education budget increases, Oklahoma has seen a significant increase in classroom teachers. Today, Oklahoma schools employ more than 43,000 teachers, and Sen. Ron Sharp wants to see those numbers continue to grow. The retired teacher recently filed Senate Bill 1115 to allow school districts to extend emergency teaching certificates indefinitely to help boost their teacher numbers as well as keep those already employed.

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Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, filed two bills this week to help address the state’s teacher shortage by recognizing the skills and service of out-of-state teachers.

“Even with the historic pay raises and budget increases, we’re still facing a teacher shortage. We’ve got to figure out a way to increase the potential pool of teacher applicants, and attracting out-of-state teachers is one way we can do that,” Pugh said. “However, we need to get rid of some of the roadblocks that are keeping out-of-state teachers from continuing their careers in our classrooms.

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At the request of Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, for an official Attorney General Opinion, the Office of Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter released a legal opinion regarding the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s so-called “No-Surcharge” statute that limited consumer choice in making purchases.

Sen. Brooks sought the Attorney General’s opinion with the goal of allowing more flexible payment options in Oklahoma that offer benefits to both businesses and consumers.

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Oklahoma Senate Republican leadership commented Friday on the state Board of Equalization’s preliminary revenue certification.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – In an effort to help encourage and retain Oklahoma’s top educators, Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, has filed legislation creating a process for teachers who complete their National Board Certification and meet other additional requirements to receive annual bonuses of $1,500 beginning in the 2020-21 school year. Under the legislation, depending on available revenue, that amount could be increased in subsequent years until it reaches a maximum of $5,000.

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Both Republicans and Democrats in the Oklahoma Senate are joining the effort to get a full count in Oklahoma in the 2020 Census.

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Legislation filed Wednesday would allow voters to decide who is qualified to participate in Oklahoma’s election process.

Senate Joint Resolution 23 by Senator Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, would allow a vote of the people to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to clarify only citizens of the United States are qualified to vote in Oklahoma.

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Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat on Thursday announced his appointment of Sidney Ellington of Oklahoma City to the board of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has filed legislation to give Oklahomans an income tax credit to offset the costs of work-related licenses required by the state.

“We’ve been studying occupational licensing for years, and the one thing we’ve seen is growth in government where people are required to get a license, often unnecessarily, before they are allowed to work and be a productive member of society,” Dahm said. “Only five percent of jobs used to require a license, but now a quarter of all jobs require some sort of government permission just to work.”

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Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat on Friday announced the appointment of Calvin Prince of Ada to the board of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Prince currently serves as the administrator for the Pontotoc County specialty courts programs. Previously, he served as the director of marketing and community relations for Oklahoma Families First, Inc., and also as a school-based counselor for multiple school districts and colleges. He also consults with both local and state agencies on various topics relating to marriage, parenting, and drug and alcohol issues.

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State Sen. Casey Murdock will hold a town hall meeting in Taloga on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Citizens throughout Dewey County are invited to attend. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Taloga School Auditorium, 500 East Ruble Ave.

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State Sen. Casey Murdock will hold a town hall meeting in Fairview on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Citizens throughout Major County are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fairview Community Centers East Room, 206 East Broadway.

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State Sen. Casey Murdock will hold a town hall meeting in Woodward on Thursday, Dec. 12. Citizens throughout Woodward County are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., at the High Plains Technology Center, 3921 34th Street in the main buildings general meeting room, 201 A and B.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, filed four bills Monday aimed to tighten sentences for domestic violence offenders, increase accountability for their actions and further protect their victims.

Headlining the domestic violence bill package is Senate Bill 1103, which cracks down on offenders of assault and battery with intent to cause great bodily harm by strangulation or attempted strangulation. According to the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, strangulation victims are 750 percent more likely to be killed than victims who have never been strangled.

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Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, commented Tuesday on the Oklahoma ACES (Aerospace Commerce Economic Services) Programs first year and its many accomplishments. Rosino was the principal Senate author of House Bill 2578 in 2018 creating the state aerospace program.

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