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Press Releases

Showing: October, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bipartisan Senate interim study held Tuesday at the Capitol took an in-depth look at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission’s (OESC) response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons learned, and how those lessons will be applied in the future.  The study was requested by Business, Commerce and Tourism chair, Sen. James Leewright, R-Bristow, and Senate Democratic Floor Leader, Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Chuck Hall, R-Perry, and Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman, held a bipartisan study Tuesday to examine Oklahoma’s use of pre-paid benefit cards. The state contracts with New Jersey-based Conduent for a majority of state benefit cards including tax refunds, government assistance and unemployment benefits.

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At statehood, Oklahoma did not yet have its own prison system—inmates had to be sent to Kansas. When Kate Barnard, our first Commissioner of Charities and Corrections, uncovered the horrific treatment of Oklahoma prisoners, she worked hard to establish the construction of the state’s first prison and the establishment of a three-tiered state prison system, which included a penitentiary, a reformatory and a boys’ training school. 

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State Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, released the following statement on Thursday regarding Gov. Kevin Stitt’s announcement that the state’s public health lab will be moved to Stillwater.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – In a bipartisan interim study hosted by Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, on Wednesday, legislators heard from experts and non-profit leaders about the benefits of Pay for Success programs and how expanding their footprint across the state could save the state millions of taxpayer dollars. 

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OKLAHOMA CITY Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, voiced his support for the new public health laboratory and the Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence (OPCIE) at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater.  He said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of such a facility to prepare Oklahoma for future pandemic or bioterrorism responses.

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“The Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s decision to begin termination proceedings of Epic One-on-One’s contract is good news for Oklahoma public schools and taxpayers. I’ve talked to members of the board on numerous occasions over the last few years about Epic’s misuse of public funds, dual enrollment and outrageous administrative costs and was, essentially, ignored. Now that the school is under state and federal investigation, and the State Auditor’s office has brought to light all the school’s violations of state law, I’m glad this Board is finally ready to do its job.  

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Today Oklahoma Senate Democrats sent the following letter to Governor Kevin Stitt calling for stronger action to combat COVID-19:

October 13, 2020

The Honorable J. Kevin Stitt

Governor of Oklahoma

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You know it’s a great day in Oklahoma when you’re traveling, and all you can see are orange pylons.  Even though road construction can be a bit of an inconvenience, it’s a sign that our state is investing in our greatest physical asset—our transportation system.  It means we are improving safety with modernizations and expansions that will also enable us to grow our economy, creating new jobs.  For Fiscal Year 2021, state highway funding is $814 million, with another $620 million in federal highway funds for a total of $1.5 billion for roads a

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State Senators Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, and Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City, released the following statements in response to Gov. Stitt’s announcement of a new Oklahoma Pandemic Center to be built in Stillwater:

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, is among 2020’s “50 Making a Difference” honorees.  Each year, the Journal Record newspaper honors 50 Oklahoma women for leadership in their professions and in their communities.  Honorees include outstanding women from business, government, education, and the nonprofit sector.

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As cutting-edge technology advancements continue to change the modern workforce, it’s vital for Oklahoma’s economy and future that our students are prepared for the ever-changing workforce.

That’s according to State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, who hosted an interim study on Thursday regarding how the CareerTech system is preparing and funneling qualified employees into the state’s workforce.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) recently announced plans to raise employer taxes at the beginning of the year to combat historic unemployment rates. Sen. Paul Scott, R-Duncan, is urging Congress to provide the necessary unemployment funds in the next stimulus package to spare business owners another financial hardship.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate plan a bipartisan, bicameral training session on redistricting for all members of the Legislature later this month.

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When you look at Oklahoma’s budget, it’s a little over $7.8 billion.  While many people are probably aware the lion’s share of that goes to education, they may not realize that health care is the second highest expense.  It makes up 31 percent of the total budget—some $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2021. This week, I want to break down where those funds go.

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Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, issued the following statement Thursday afternoon after the State Auditor’s office released findings of the first part of their audit of Epic Charter Schools that focused on the funds held by the school.

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