President Pro Tempore DESIGNATE
Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 418
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: November 13, 2008
Senator Glenn Coffee
Taxpayers to See Cost Savings with Republican Control of State
State Capitol, Oklahoma City – The November elections
that put Republicans in charge of the Oklahoma State Senate for
the first time in state history will result in hundreds of thousands
of dollars in cost savings for Oklahoma taxpayers, according to
a preliminary estimate by the Senate’s staff.
“We are very pleased that we will be able to implement significant
savings for the taxpayers,” stated Senate President Pro Tempore
Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “As public
servants it is important that we serve as good stewards of the
taxpayers’ money by improving efficiency and finding savings.”
According to preliminary estimates, net payroll savings will be
approximately $400,000 as the State Senate returns to the traditional
number of leadership staff for the Majority and Minority parties
that existed prior to the adoption of a 2006 power-sharing agreement.
That agreement provided both parties with equal budgets for leadership
staff, although the Republicans regularly operated under-budget.
For the 2009 legislative session, the Democrat leader will receive
funding for an executive assistant and two leadership staff – the
same number of staff provided to the Republican leader prior to
the 2006 elections. This will result in savings compared to the
2008 legislative session, when the Democrat leader employed an
executive assistant plus 7 leadership staff. 4 of the 7 Democrat
leadership staff members have already retired or secured other
employment. As in the past, the Democrat leader will determine
who is hired or retained within the Democrats’ Minority leadership
Other payroll savings will come by returning to a three-tiered
pay scale for executive assistants to state senators. The pay scale
includes a base salary with slightly higher salaries for assistants
to senators who chair a committee or serve in leadership positions.
Most executive assistants will not see a pay reduction, although
executive assistants who have continued to receive substantially
higher salaries after leaving the employment of a former president
pro tempore will now be paid within the new pay scale.
Coffee said the Senate will also implement reforms that should
result in additional savings, such as the electronic filing of
administrative rules and streamlining the paperwork requirements
for executive nominees who are subject to Senate confirmation.
The Senate will release the specific details about the cost savings
when the precise amount of savings is known, he said.
AREAS OF COST SAVINGS:
- Return to traditional number of Majority and Minority leadership
- Return to traditional three-tiered pay scale for executive
assistants to senators.
- Reduce paperwork.
For more information
Senator Coffee's Office: (405) 521-5654