Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor, Senate President Pro Tempore
"Governor Keating needs to realize that there's no free lunch. You can't raise teacher pay, fund more road construction and expand state prison space for nothing. Unlike the U.S. Congress in Washington DC, we have to pass a balanced budget in Oklahoma. There's no state credit card to max out and no rich uncle to pick up the tab for a big spending spree. The sooner Governor Keating realizes that, the sooner we can proceed toward an orderly adjournment of the Legislature. I think that once he makes an honest appraisal of the state's obligations and available resources and drops the rhetoric, we'll be able to move forward in a productive manner."
"There will be a tag bill that offers significant relief to motorists, but we also owe it to the people of Oklahoma to make it a responsible tag bill - one that protects things such as education and roads that rely on vehicle revenue. The proposal supported by Governor Keating would cut funding for public schools and road construction. I think that's irresponsible, given the high priority Oklahomans place on those things."
"The Governor is just throwing his annual temper tantrum, the same fit he pitches every year when we reach the final weeks of the legislative session and he realizes that he hasn't gotten every single thing he wants. For example, Governor Keating wanted to cut veterans programs, but we didn't do it. The Governor wanted to take action that would kill the athletic programs at OU and OSU, but we didn't do it. Governor Keating didn't want to give teachers or state employees a pay raise, but we did it."
"He hasn't gotten everything he's asked for, but then no one has. Of course, Governor Keating hasn't had any problem sharing in the glory of the teacher pay raise and other popular initiatives, even though they weren't his idea. The Governor doesn't mind getting in front of the TV cameras
when the popular proposals are passed; he just doesn't want to pay for them when the bill comes due."