Republican Floor Leader
Senator Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward
State Capitol Room 519
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2008
Sen. Owen Laughlin
SENATE GOP FLOOR LEADER RESPONDS TO DEMOCRAT
State Senate Democrat Floor Leader Charles
Laster attacked Republicans in an after-business-hours news release
late Friday, criticizing GOP senators for votes on several bills
related to health insurance.
Senate Republican Floor Leader Owen
Laughlin responded, saying one criticism in particular made
“Senator Laster criticized Republicans for defeating a bill
that would have recreated the State Board for Property and Casualty
Rates, insinuating that bringing back this government bureaucracy
would somehow reduce insurance costs,” said Laughlin, R-Woodward.
“That’s pretty funny because in 2006 Senator Laster
actually authored the bill that repealed this board from state law.
I guess he was against it before he was for it,” he said.
In 2006 Laster was the author of House Bill 2905, the bill that
repealed the State Board for Property and Casualty Rates and reassigned
the board’s duties to the Insurance Commissioner. In 2005
Laster also co-authored SB 1X, a workers compensation bill that
rendered the board obsolete.
“Senate Democrats have done more to increase the cost of
health insurance than anyone at the Capitol,” said Laughlin.
“They’ve opposed lawsuit reform, they’ve pushed
for more government-run health care, and they’ve pushed for
expensive mandates that have increased the cost of health insurance
“More government regulation has never lowered the cost of
anything,” Laughlin stated. “Republicans believe increased
competition makes insurance more affordable.”
Laughlin is disappointed by Laster’s attack because both
parties have worked well together this year in the evenly divided
“Senate Republicans have worked very hard to extend the hand
of bipartisanship this session, so it will be very disappointing
if Senator Laster’s negative news release is a harbinger of
things to come,” said Laughlin. “But Senate Republicans
won’t let these attacks interfere with our dedication to doing
the business of the citizens and taxpayers of Oklahoma.”
Laughlin also noted the irony of a Senate Democrat complaining
about bills dying in a committee.
“It is ironic that Senate Democrats would criticize anyone
for killing legislation in a committee considering they have bottled
up Republican-authored pro-life bills and lawsuit reform for years,”
The Senate is currently tied with 24 Republicans and 24 Democrats.
The State Senate operates under a power-sharing agreement between
the two parties.
For more information contact:
Senator Laughlin's Office: (405) 521-5626