Senator Mike Morgan
President Pro Tempore
Senate District 21
Lincoln, Logan & Payne Counties
For Immediate Release: May 24, 2007
Senator Mike Morgan
Timely Conclusion of Session Proves Senate Power-Sharing
Senate Democrats List 2007 Accomplishments
Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan said Thursday Democrats
and Republicans in the Oklahoma State Senate proved the skeptics
wrong by working together in an unprecedented manner in the First
Session of the 51st Oklahoma Legislature.
“The voters handed us a tie in November and there weren’t
very many people who believed we could make it work. Sure, there
were bumps in the road, but for the most part we put aside our partisan
differences and worked together to accomplish the people’s
business,” Morgan said, moments after the Legislature adjourned
for the year a full day before its constitutionally mandated deadline.
“Our power-sharing agreement worked. The pundits will want
to talk about the winners and losers in this session. I am proud
to say that the people of Oklahoma were the big winners.”
For the first in state history, the Senate is divided evenly with
24 Democrats and 24 Republicans. Under an agreement reached in December,
Morgan, D-Stillwater, shared power evenly with Co-President Pro
Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Glenn
Coffee. The two of us recognized early on that although we, at times,
had serious disagreements over policy that the people expected us
to work together. I think we did that. It’s been noisy at
times, but partisan differences never kept us from completing the
Democratic Floor Leader Charlie Laster said, he too, was proud of
the nice way the Senate conducted its business in a professional
Laster said Oklahomans were the real winners in the session, thanks
in part, to passage of key elements in the Senate Democrats’
Oklahoma Rising Agenda.
The Shawnee Senator specifically listed passage of the All Kids
Act, which will close the gap and provide health insurance for an
additional 42,000 Oklahoma and approval of the toughest state immigration
reform legislation in the country. He also praised passage of legislation
that will allow more small businesses to offer health insurance
to their employees.
“We began this session with the goals of expanding the availability
of health care for all Oklahomans and protecting working Oklahomans
from unfair competition from illegal immigrants. We passed legislation
to help us reach both of those goals,” Laster said.
Morgan lauded passage of a dedicated funding source for the Oklahoma’s
Promise Scholarship Program.
“We have ensured that Oklahoma will keep its promise to every
student who has earned a scholarship and that this program will
remain an important part of our efforts to increase the number of
college graduates in our state,” Morgan said.
Laster said he is disappointed that Republicans obstructed efforts
by Senate Democrats to increase the minimum wage, which would put
more money into the pockets of Oklahomans struggling to make ends
Appropriations Co-Chairman Johnnie Crutchfield said he was pleased
with passage of the Fiscal Year 2008 budget, which includes the
first step in a long-term fix for the troubled Oklahoma Teacher
Retirement System. The $10 million deposit in the fund will be followed
with additional deposits, eventually increasing to $60 million a
year over the next two decades to reduce the system’s unfunded
Crutchfield also lauded the budget’s inclusion of an average
$1,000 per-teacher pay increase, weighted toward veteran teachers
and those with advanced degrees and an increase of $122 million
for higher education.
Crutchfield said the budget includes a series of important Democratic
• $2.5 million for rural fire department equipment costs and
$1.4 million for firefighter training;
• $15 million for the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, as that
entity completes celebrations, plans and projects for the 2007 State
• $10 million for a state Bioenergy Fund;
• And $3 million for drug courts and the “Smart on Crime
Initiative.” Drug courts have been shown as one way to reduce
For more information, contact:
Senator Morgan's Office: (405) 521-5605