Friday, June 6, 2008

Oklahoma Senate moving forward with Conservative Bills Pushed by Republicans

We should all be very proud of our State Senators and the job they did for all Oklahoman’s this past sessions. They deserve a big congratulation. Here are a few bills that our State Senators worked diligently to get passed this last session. Now let’s get behind our Senators and take full control of the Senate this November.

1. Ethics Reform: In 2008 the Legislature passed Senate Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee’s bill that bans lobbyist campaign contributions during legislative sessions.

2. Protecting the Unborn: In 2007 Senate Republicans successfully passed legislation that prohibits taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. In 2008 they built on this success by overriding Henry’s veto of SB 1878, which protects the right of healthcare workers who refuse to participate in abortions and provides mothers with an ultrasound of their unborn baby prior to an abortion being performed.

3. Fiscal Responsibility: Despite tight budget for the 2008 session, Senate Republicans helped secure an early agreement for a standstill budget that avoided cuts to agencies and did not raid the Rainy Day fund. They also closed a state pension loophole that allowed some politicians to make more money in retirement than they did while working.

4. Teacher Retirement System: The Teacher Retirement System was nearly in shambles because of years of neglect by Democrats. In 2007 Senate Republicans pushed through a permanent increase in funding that will make the system more solvent in the long-term.

5. Education: In 2008 Senate Republicans passed two bills to make Oklahoma schools safer and more secure: The School Protection Act (SB 1024) provides lawsuit protections for teachers and administrators who maintain order in the classroom, and the Security Act (SB 1941) makes schools safer by requiring lockdown practices twice and year and by cracking down on bullies.

6. Public Safety: In 2008 Senate Republicans enacted tougher penalties on child porn peddlers, and they made sure the Legislature followed an independent performance audit’s recommendation that the Department of Corrections be fully funded.

7. Stopping Bad Legislation: Senate Republicans stopped plenty of bad legislation, such as Gov. Henry’s plan to create a state kindergarten program for three-year-olds (2007) and a Senate Democrat bill that would have required insurance companies to raise premiums to pay for abortions, sex change operations, and other procedures (2008)

8. Still more to do: Senate Republicans successfully passed conservative legislation through the Senate to slow property tax growth, expand charter schools, and provide scholarships to low income students at at-risk schools. (Unfortunately these bills didn’t make it out of the House of Representatives). Senate Democrats blocked conservative proposals such as voter identification to protect the integrity of elections, term limits for statewide elected officials. Senate Republicans will lead the way next year to enact these important reforms. Now lets take control of the Senate this November for the first time in our states great history!

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