Republican Floor Leader
Senator Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward
State Capitol Room 519
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 7, 2008
Sen. Owen Laughlin
Official English Bill’s
Supporters Disappointed by Senate Democrats’ Obstruction
Supporters of the bill to make English the official language are
disappointed that Senate Democrats utilized a rarely-used procedural
maneuver to block an up-or-down vote on the bill by sending it to
a conference committee.
The bill’s author, Senate Republican Floor Leader Owen Laughlin,
said the Democrats’ obstruction likely kills Senate Bill 163
for the 2008 session.
“Making English the official language of our state is an
issue whose time has come in Oklahoma. I am very disappointed that
Senate Democrats voted in lock-step to block an up-or-down vote
on this important issue,” stated Laughlin, R-Woodward. “Senator
Morgan sent a pretty strong signal on the floor that the Democrat
leadership plans to kill this bill in conference.”
Other supporters of SB 163 also expressed their concerns about
the Senate Democrats’ action.
“Republicans have made the Official English proposal a priority
for many years. We believe the people overwhelmingly agree that
English should be our official language. I am sorry that the Senate
Democrats have continued to block the people’s right to vote
on this important issue,” stated Sen. James A. Williamson,
“I’m disappointed but not surprised by the Senate Democrats’
actions. Instead of allowing the people of Oklahoma to vote on this
critical issue, they maneuvered it into a conference committee where
they can gut and kill the Official English bill,” said Sen.
Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso.
“The Senate Democrats’ substitute language is just
a piece of paper that does not change the status quo. It still requires
the state to expend funds to provide unnecessary translations for
government services. Our version would have stopped the silly lawsuits
that seek to force our state to provide services in any number of
foreign languages,” said Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore.
For more information contact:
Senator Laughlin's Office: (405) 521-5626