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Press Releases

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate has given its approval to a measure aimed at addressing Oklahoma’s nursing shortage, which has worsened as a result of the pandemic.  Senate Bill 1458  would use $55 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to establish grant programs to help 21 state colleges, universities, and technology centers to address this pressing need.

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Senate Democrats held a press conference to give an update on the 2022 legislative session. Speakers included:

Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa

Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City

Sen. Jo Anna Dossett, D-Tulsa

Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman

Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Legislature will call a concurrent legislative session to allow public input to continue to drive how $1.8 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are spent.

The concurrent session, to begin Wednesday, allows the Legislature to immediately return in the interim to enact an ARPA spending plan as agreed to by the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – On Wednesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 1075 to reinstate the full sales tax exemption on motor vehicles and tractor trailers. The Legislature removed the 1.25% of the exemption in 2017, but Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, said with revenues at record highs, it’s time to restore the much-needed tax relief for Oklahomans.

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Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, filed Senate Resolution 47 to memorialize June 14, 2022, as President Donald J. Trump Day in the state, which is Trump’s birthday, the birthday of the U.S. Army, and Flag Day. 

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statements after passage of the FY 2023 General Appropriations bill:

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Historic state savings deposits and more money returned to taxpayers highlight the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget agreement, which also funds law enforcement at record levels, eliminates the years-long developmentally disabled services waiting list, fights federal overreach, and makes generational investments in economic development.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Fiscal Year 2023 state budget agreement includes $32.5 million to completely eliminate the 13-year waiting list for some 5,000 individuals seeking developmental disability services.  Sen. Paul Rosino, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, said the investment would improve the lives of thousands of Oklahomans.

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Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, a former teacher, released the following statement regarding the Fiscal Year 2023 budget.

"This budget undermines what we know kids need to thrive. Half of our classroom teachers are leaving the state or leaving the profession entirely at the end of this school year. With no new investment in common education, we are falling further behind and we are already $1.2 billion behind the regional average in per pupil investment. In a year where we have $1.4 billion in surplus, it's time to fill the gap."

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation giving firefighters statutory authority to transport patients to the hospital in emergency situations has been signed into law.  Senate Bill 1515, by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, and Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond, was signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt on Monday.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Schools will be better able to address the mental health needs of their students beginning this coming academic year following the signing of Senate Bill 626. The measure, by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, and Rep. Randy Randleman, R-Eufaula, requires mental health facilities providing inpatient mental health care services for minors to share with parents the importance of informing their school about their students’ struggles and care received.

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The Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee has given approval to Krista Ratliff to serve the remaining term of Sandra Kunz on the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission, which will end on July 1, 2023. Sen. John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, carried the nomination.

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Senate Democrats held a press conference to give an update on the 2022 legislative session. Speakers included:

Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City

Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City

Sen. Jo Anna Dossett, D-Tulsa

Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City

Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Now that Oklahoma’s Imagination Library will be expanding to all 77 counties, the legislators who authored the measure creating the state’s program are working to help spread the news. Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow and Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore, were co-authors of the 2020 legislation.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Kevin Matthews is inviting the public to come learn more about rural Oklahoma and one of Oklahoma’s 13 surviving all-Black communities.  Boley, in Okfuskee County, is one of the stops for a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit highlighting rural America.  The exhibit, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” will be open to the public from May 14 through June 25 at the Boley Community Center, 11 West Grant Street, with a special opening ceremony and ribbon cutting to be held this Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s public safety community will soon have access to better mental health resources and support after the signing of Senate Bill 1613. Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, authored the bill directing the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to establish and maintain a mental wellness division within the agency to provide mental health services and programs to public safety personnel and their families.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate paused on Tuesday to honor the late Vivian Corbett “Millie” Bailey, formerly of Tulsa, who recently passed away in Maryland at the age of 104.  Sen. Kevin Matthews prepared a posthumous citation honoring her life, which included her service during WWII in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, later known as the Women’s Army Corps, a career in civil service, and a lifetime of volunteer work for education, health and the military.

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The governor has signed legislation allowing a responding law enforcement officer to authorize the removal of a body from a car accident scene after specific parameters have been met. Sen. George Burns, R-Pollard, was the author of the measure.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Mary Boren has authored and filed Senate Concurrent Resolution 28 directing the State Auditor to audit the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA). This comes after recent news reports that the OTA is moving forward with plans to begin work on a controversial toll road expansion, including purchasing properties, after learning a $200 million line of credit cannot be used for the project because of pending lawsuits.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Frank Simpson was recently honored on the Senate floor for his tireless support and legislative contributions to the Oklahoma National Guard during his tenure in the Senate. The Springer Republican was presented with the Oklahoma Thunderbird medal for “outstanding service, achievement or contribution made in support of Oklahoma National Guard missions” by Oklahoma Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino and Oklahoma Air National Guard Senior Enlisted Leader, Chief Master Sgt. Scott Irwin.

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