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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: March 7, 2008

State Senate Approves Measure Enhancing Legislative Transparency

The full Senate has given approval to a bill that would enable the public to find out which legislation was requested by a state agency or lobbyist. Senate Bill 1962, authored by Senator Anthony Sykes, was approved unanimously on Thursday. The Moore lawmaker said this is an enhancement of the Taxpayer Transparency Act approved last year to enable the public to track how all their tax dollars are appropriated through the Internet.

“One of the things I observed during my first session was that most bills are agency request bills. It seemed like every time a bill was presented, the Senator would stand up and say ‘this is an agency request bill’ and that was about it as far as an explanation as to why the legislation was being proposed. It appeared that the bureaucracy was driving the process,” Sykes said. “Under my bill, the public can track which state agencies are requesting legislation, and what that legislation does.”

During the committee process, Tulsa Senator Tom Adelson added language that would also require disclosure of bills specifically requested by lobbyists. This amendment was welcomed by Senator Sykes.

“The public needs every assurance that members of the legislature are there to serve their needs, not those of a special interest,” Adelson said. “By disclosing who the stakeholders are on legislation, I believe we’re opening up the process, and creating more transparency and accountability.”

SB 1962 next moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

For more information contact:
Senator Sykes' Office:  (405) 521-5569
Senator Adelson's Office: (405) 521-5551

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