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Press Releases

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As cutting-edge technology advancements continue to change the modern workforce, it’s vital for Oklahoma’s economy and future that our students are prepared for the ever-changing workforce.

That’s according to State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, who hosted an interim study on Thursday regarding how the CareerTech system is preparing and funneling qualified employees into the state’s workforce.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) recently announced plans to raise employer taxes at the beginning of the year to combat historic unemployment rates. Sen. Paul Scott, R-Duncan, is urging Congress to provide the necessary unemployment funds in the next stimulus package to spare business owners another financial hardship.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate plan a bipartisan, bicameral training session on redistricting for all members of the Legislature later this month.

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When you look at Oklahoma’s budget, it’s a little over $7.8 billion.  While many people are probably aware the lion’s share of that goes to education, they may not realize that health care is the second highest expense.  It makes up 31 percent of the total budget—some $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2021. This week, I want to break down where those funds go.

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Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, issued the following statement Thursday afternoon after the State Auditor’s office released findings of the first part of their audit of Epic Charter Schools that focused on the funds held by the school.

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State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, has been taking a deep dive into the agricultural industry and important issues facing farmers and ranchers in the state. 

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OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, has been named honorary chair of the Oklahoma City Folds of Honor’s Operation 261 campaign, a drive to fund scholarships for spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.  Since the founding of Folds of Honor in 2007, the organization has awarded over 24,500 educational scholarships.

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When the legislature writes the budget, the funds we appropriate come from many different revenue streams, like income taxes, oil and gas taxes, cigarette taxes and others as well—about 20 in all.  I think people are aware that oil and gas collections are still low, and when that industry is down, it impacts many other areas in our economy. Add that to the economic impact of the pandemic, and it should be clear to see the challenges our state is facing. 

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, said he is preparing legislation for the 2021 session to make it illegal to “dox” an Oklahoma law enforcement officer. The term doxing refers to using the internet to research and post documents or other material in order to intimidate, attack or harass an individual.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – On the heels of mounting racial tension brewing across the United States, Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, hosted two interim studies on Tuesday that examined the benefits of forming a state commission on race and equality and requiring racial impact statements for new legislation that would impact the criminal justice system.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An interim study held Wednesday in the Oklahoma Senate examined the potential to make permanent changes that the Oklahoma Legislature made earlier this year to the state’s open meeting law that allowed agencies, boards and commissions at the state and local level to meet and hold public meetings virtually, in accordance with health and safety guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma is now the 30th state in the nation to form a “Future Caucus” to find bipartisan solutions to issues that impact younger generations.  The Future Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral group of members age 45 and younger and will be co-chaired by Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, Rep. Ajay Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The leader of the Oklahoma Senate commented on the withdrawal of an initiative petition on redistricting.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Casey Murdock says he often sees Oklahoma’s rural towns falling by the wayside due to a lack of opportunity and investment on his drive to the state Capitol. The Felt Republican held an interim study on Monday examining the rules and regulations on beef processing facilities in the state with the belief that increasing investment in these facilities will lead to more jobs and opportunity for rural Oklahoma.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – After organizing a day of fishing for foster children at a southwest Oklahoma City Park this past weekend, State Sen. Paul Rosino is already working on plans for other similar events around the state.  Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, is vice chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.  The Department of Human Services (DHS) is one of the state agencies under that committee and administers the state’s foster care program.

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In 2015, Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, and former Rep. Pat Ownbey, R-Ardmore, began working with their fellow veterans and citizens along with state and federal officials to have a cemetery in Ardmore for Oklahoma’s fallen heroes. Their dream was signed into law in 2017 under Senate Bill 543 and this week, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) awarded a nearly $7.4 million grant to establish a State Veterans Cemetery in Ardmore.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Public Safety Committee heard from law enforcement officials, Career Tech representatives and mental health experts Thursday about modernizing training for Oklahoma’s law enforcement officers and their mental health needs. The study was requested by Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, and Appropriations Chairman, Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah.

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It’s often said the most important responsibility of the Legislature is to write and pass a balanced budget.  As Senate Appropriations chair, I can tell you that the budget impacts every single man, woman and child in our state.  Each week, I plan to share an article examining different aspects of the budget to help give Oklahomans insight into this work.

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