Statement by Senator Stratton Taylor
Senate President Pro Tempore
"The only pressing issues that require immediate attention are the Multiple Injury Trust Fund and the budget reconciliation bills. For example, we plan to fix the federal tax rebate problem and address the other agenda issues, but there is no urgency that requires the work to be done on September 7th."
"If MITF and the budget reconciliation bills aren't on the agenda, then there may be no need for us to come back on September 7th. I will be discussing that issue with House Speaker Larry Adair and his leadership team in the days to come."
Sen. Taylor on Gov. Keating Taking Budget Dispute to Court:
"For someone who's always complaining about the overly litigious nature of our society, I'm surprised that Governor Keating has chosen to pursue a lawsuit instead of trying to settle this dispute quickly and inexpensively in special session. We could have resolved this issue without wasting taxpayers' money on a court fight, but Governor Keating seems more interested in a partisan confrontation rather than bipartisan cooperation. He's using the Oklahoma Supreme Court to try and score political points, even after it sent the clear signal that it preferred a legislative resolution when it issued a continuance in the case earlier this month."
"Regardless of his public statements, we plan to go ahead and address the budget issue if we do return for special session on September 7th. If Governor Keating wants to resolve this dispute in an inexpensive, bipartisan manner, he'll sign the budget reconciliation bills, just as he did with the original bill in May. If he wants a protracted, expensive legal battle and a potential state budget crisis, he'll veto them."
"I do find it interesting that Governor Keating was able to find room on the special session agenda for the 1st district congressional election. He's apparently more interested in the outcome of that race than he is in resolving the budget dispute or helping injured workers."