Republicans of the Oklahoma State Senate released their policy agenda for the 2008 legislative session today, calling for better roads and bridges, improvements in education and health care, and economic reforms to promote job creation.
Senate Republicans also pledged to make Oklahoma government more accountable and transparent, keep violent and habitual criminals behind bars, and provide more tax relief for Oklahoma taxpayers.
“Senate Republicans are ready to provide the new leadership Oklahoma needs in its second century,” stated Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, the Senate’s Co-President Pro Tempore. “Today we’re proposing forward-thinking policies and reforms to make Oklahoma a more prosperous and secure place to raise a family, start a business, get a good job, and retire.”
Major policy initiatives proposed by Senate Republicans include:
Establishing an “office of accountability” at the State Legislature to oversee and conduct regular performance audits of state agencies.
Ensuring the ROADS Fund for roads and bridges is fully funded each year, and dedicating more motor vehicle taxes and fees for the repair and replacement of state, county, and local roads and bridges.
Protecting the public’s safety by keeping violent and habitual criminals behind bars where they belong.
Improving education by promoting more school choice, and by ensuring accountability and transparency in student achievement and educational effectiveness.
Improving job growth by supporting critical economic reforms, such as lawsuit reform and workers’ comp reform.
Ensuring that Oklahoma taxpayers get the income tax cut to 5.25% as planned for 2009; expanding the back-to-school sales tax holiday to include school supplies; and eliminating ineffective and obsolete special interest tax breaks.
Protecting the integrity of our elections by requiring voter identification at the ballot box to make sure no illegal votes are cast.
Improving health care by supporting free market reforms to improve access and lower costs, and by supporting the use of new technologies, such as e-records, to make healthcare more efficient and secure.
The 2008 legislative session begins Monday, February 4, and runs through the last Friday in May.
The Senate is tied with 24 Republicans and 24 Democrats, so the Senate operates under a “power-sharing” agreement between the two parties.