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Oklahoma State Senate
Senate Co-President Pro Tempore
Glenn Coffee
CONTACT: Paul Ziriax
Oklahoma Senate
Capitol: (405) 521.5654

Speaker of the House
Lance Cargill
CONTACT: Damon Gardenhire
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Capitol: (405) 962.7679

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For Immediate Release: May 7, 2007

Legislative Leaders Dispute Henry Claim That Lawsuit Reform Deal is Near

Legislative leaders from the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives disputed published comments by Gov. Brad Henry that an agreement is near on a lawsuit reform compromise.

Henry recently vetoed Senate Bill 507, a bipartisan lawsuit reform bill passed by the Legislature. In the May 6, 2007, edition of The Sunday Oklahoman, Henry said he feels a compromise on lawsuit reform is “very, very close.”

“Negotiations on lawsuit reform are nonexistent – one could even say they’ve broken down. The Legislature put a very good lawsuit reform bill on the governor’s desk, but we haven’t heard a peep from him since he vetoed it,” stated Senate Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “We’re willing to talk to the governor if he gets serious about meaningful reform, but we’re not going to let him water down the key reforms just for the sake of getting an agreement.”

“The governor had the opportunity to work in a collaborative bipartisan way with the Legislature this year, but he has chosen a path of confrontation and partisanship,” said Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah.
“The governor wasted time by trying to renegotiate this legislation at the eleventh hour before he vetoed it. He didn't expend any time or effort when this legislation was working its way through the process.

“Now he's just trying to spin his way out of an unpopular veto. He needs to engage in the process. If the governor wants to talk about serious reform, we're open to that. But just posturing on the issue won't cut it.”

For more information contact:
Senator Coffee's Office:  (405) 521-5636

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