This week, Senate Bill 826, a bill to reform binding arbitration, was not heard in the House before the deadline to hear Senate bills. The bill could be considered in the House in the 2012 session. Principal author of the measure, Senator David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, made the following remarks.
"I want to thank Representative Scott Martin for his incredible leadership, and Speaker Kris Steele, for supporting Representative Martin and this important bill every step of the way.
“I also want to thank Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman for his strong and unyielding support, the Senate co-authors who stood with us, and the Senators who passed SB 826 through the Senate.
“This issue is not going away. Binding arbitration takes the power to spend tax dollars away from taxpayers. The taxpayers won't rest, and neither should the Legislature, until real change is made.
“Just this week, the Massachusetts legislature rejected a union scheme to impose binding arbitration there. When Oklahoma is giving more power to unions than Massachusetts does, I think we all have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves how long we want Oklahoma to continue prioritizing union interests above taxpayers.
“In the recent past, victories like ‘Right to Work’ illustrated that Oklahoma had its priorities straight. As we all witnessed this year, other states are catching up and surpassing us. The taxpayers of Oklahoma will not stand for this, and so I predict the debate will only continue.
“I want to thank the coalition that has formed around this issue. Representative Martin and I intend to keep that coalition together until real change is made. This coalition includes the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Americans for Prosperity, the Oklahoma Academy, the 9-12 Project, RIED, the Oklahoma State Chamber, the Oklahoma Municipal League, the Oklahoma Republican Party, and Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.
“I look forward to continuing to stand with the taxpayers to reform or repeal the onerous process of binding arbitration."