Senate Republicans today questioned the authorization of a "Senate" report by the President Pro Tem, Stratton Taylor. "This is not a Senate Position, none of the Republican Caucus members have been contacted to participate in the study. This is a partisan justification for extortion at the expense of taxpayers." said Minority leader Mark Snyder.
Senate President Pro Tem Stratton Taylor, hired a legal consultant Rick Chamberlin to prepare an advocacy paper for the Senate claiming a regulated company's rates are "likely too high".
Republican Senators are calling the Democratic leadership to task on how the Senate can hire a consultant to conduct a seventeen day study and in the same breath complain that we do not have enough money for teachers.
"This is an overt grab for money from existing Oklahoma business. I am worried that other Oklahoma businesses will not reinvest in their properties located here in the state. When legislative Democrat leadership acts in this manner, it stymies Oklahoma growth: growth that could fund education. The commission has a difficult job that just became more difficult. We have faith in the Commission's ability to represent Oklahoma ratepayer's interest in this matter," said Senator Jim Dunlap, Bartlesville.
The corporation commission is in the process of finalizing the terms of the alternative regulation agreement with Bell. That proposal will ultimately go before the Legislature for its review and consideration of any related legislation. "It seems logical to us that the Commission should be permitted to do their job, " said Snyder.
"I'm concerned about the impact this will have on businesses considering moving to our state. They have to ask the question whether they would be targeted for funds in this manner," said Senator Glenn Coffee, Oklahoma City. " I hope Senate Democrat leaders are just putting on a show for their friends and aren't seriously interested in pursuing a program that would crush economic development and the interest of new businesses. We would all like to have a blank check that we could draw on whenever we wanted, but unfortunately, that doesn't exist and we shouldn't force it on one company. A growing business community needs a legislative environment that is friendly to growth and the free market system. I think the Senate Democrat Leadership realizes that, even if they aren't willing to admit it publicly, " said Coffee.