Speaker of the House Todd Hiett and Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee announced that House and Senate Republicans will seek common legislative goals in the upcoming 2005 legislative session.
Hiett and Coffee publicly released an eight point legislative platform recently approved by their respective caucuses.
“As Oklahomans, we must work to provide more job opportunities and more hope for our state’s citizens,” said Speaker Hiett, R-Kellyville. “That means reducing government interference in people’s lives, making it easier to earn and save money and strengthening the core values that have made Oklahoma great. And we can start by addressing the root of our problems -- fixing a broken workers’ compensation system and ending junk lawsuits. Our joint agenda gives Republicans a clear mission for the long-term good of Oklahoma.”
Senator Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, stated, “Republicans stand ready to work with the Democrat leadership and Gov. Henry to help make state government more effective and more efficient, to make Oklahoma’s schools better, to reduce the burden on Oklahoma’s taxpayers, and to create job opportunities and better wages for Oklahoma’s workers by enacting long-overdue lawsuit reform and workers compensation reform. But we also are ready to fight for what’s right if Democrat leaders stand in the way of progress for our state.”
SUMMARY OF THE 2005 REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM
· Create job opportunities and increase wages for Oklahoma workers.
· Build the best schools in America.
· Spur economic growth and provide tax relief for Oklahoma taxpayers.
· Improve health care and make it more affordable for all Oklahomans.
· Strengthen the family and take a stand for traditional Oklahoma values.
· Ensure safety and better maintain Oklahoma roads and bridges.
· Increase efficiency and make government more open and accountable.
· A strong, vibrant, and healthy rural Oklahoma.
Republican Legislative Platform for 2005
· Create job opportunities and increase wages for Oklahoma workers. Republicans will reform Oklahoma’s outdated workers compensation system to reduce the costs to employers and increase benefits to injured employees. We will also propose comprehensive lawsuit reform legislation to make Oklahoma more appealing to new employers and less appealing to bogus lawsuits.
· Build the best schools in America. Republicans will fund education first, boost teacher salaries, direct more dollars to the classroom, establish a more rigorous curriculum, and demand performance, accountability, and results.
· Spur economic growth and provide tax relief for Oklahoma taxpayers. Republicans will modernize the tax code in Oklahoma and lessen the tax burden on working families and small businesses.
· Improve health care and make it more affordable for all Oklahomans. Republicans will ensure patients can choose their own physicians and manage their own health care options, and pass lawsuit reform to keep doctors in business and make health care more available and affordable.
· Strengthen the family and take a stand for traditional Oklahoma values. Republicans will continue to strengthen right to life laws, support measures to strengthen the institution of marriage, and encourage traditional values education in our public schools.
· Ensure safety and better maintain Oklahoma roads and bridges. Republicans will direct more of the current motor vehicle taxes to transportation needs, and will address road and bridge maintenance by making it a priority in the state budget.
· Increase efficiency and make government more open and accountable. Taxpayers work hard for their incomes and Republicans will be good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars. We will conduct performance reviews of state agencies and will reform the state budgeting process.
· A strong, vibrant, and healthy rural Oklahoma. From education to health care, from tax reform to job creation, Republicans will make rural Oklahoma full partners in reforms that help all of Oklahoma.