“Senate Democrats were instrumental in passing an historic workers’ compensation measure that was given an “A” rating by the State Chamber of Commerce-an obvious pro business group in the state of Oklahoma.
“The Research Institute for Economic Development (RIED) report is so arbitrarily put together that when we contacted a RIED board member, we were unable to get the formula that determines the rankings given to legislators.
“RIED board members have given more than 93 percent of their total political contributions to Republican candidates, proving that the RIED group is certainly a partisan group.
“Despite claims by Senator Coffee that Senate Democrats opposed pro business and pro growth legislation, members of the Senate Democratic caucus scored in the 80’s and 90’s on the report, with one member receiving a perfect score. I think that proves that economic development in the state of Oklahoma is not a partisan issue.
“It was members of the Senate Democratic caucus that helped craft the largest tax cut package in the history of the state, including an increase in the standard deduction which primarily benefits small business owners and working families.
“Senate Democrats also pushed through the Higher Education Bond Issue in the first ten days of the 2005 session-a measure that will initially pour more than $737 million into the state’s economy while creating more than 4,000 new construction jobs.
“With a booming Oklahoma economy and the state bringing in record amounts of revenue, I think our record for growing Oklahoma speaks for itself. We do not need some highly partisan think tank to score us on an arbitrary scale to tell us otherwise.”