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Oklahoma State Senate
President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-5636

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For Immediate Release: May 26, 2009

SENATE REPUBLICANS PRAISE HISTORIC, SUCCESSFUL
FIRST SESSION IN MAJORITY
Positive Reforms Become Law, More Positive Results to Come

With the passage of a landmark lawsuit reform bill; a new centralized function for state information services that will save Oklahoma millions of dollars, as it has in other states; and the new public-private partnership which will ensure OSU Medical Center’s future; a water bill that keeps Oklahomans in control of our most precious commodity; and many other major reforms, the first legislative session under a Republican majority produced unprecedented success and offers more opportunities to continue a reform agenda in 2010, according to Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee and Majority Floor Leader Todd Lamb.

“Republicans campaigned on bringing long overdue reform to state government, and we delivered in a big way in just our first session,” said Coffee. “Last January, we introduced a legislative agenda with reform in many areas of government, and we saw many good reforms signed into law by the governor, and others going to a vote of the people of Oklahoma.”

Floor Leader Todd Lamb concurred. “This session has produced monumental positive change for the people of Oklahoma. I couldn’t be more proud of my colleagues in the Senate Republican caucus. We have passed reform measures that will benefit all Oklahomans, and started a positive, long-term conversation about what direction our state government needs to go. I look forward with great anticipation to pursuing more reforms in future sessions,” he said.

“We promised reform in state government, health care, education, public safety and law enforcement, and to bring better economic opportunities to rural Oklahoma,” Coffee continued. “A glance at our accomplishments in 2009 shows what a great start we have, and we will continue that momentum into the 2010 legislative session.”

In addition to the passage of landmark legislation, the Republican-led legislature went direct to the people with referenda requiring voter identification at the polls, and more accountability in worker’s compensation court judges.

Coffee points to many Senate GOP Agenda bills that were passed into law, and others that will go to a vote of the people:

Government Reform:

SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR…

HB 1603 Senator Coffee Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform. Will provide a boost to
economic development, keep physicians in state and assure access to the courts for those truly wronged.

HB 1676 Senator Coffee Converts the Criminal Justice Resource Center into the
OSBI, creating greater efficiency and accountability.

SB 899 Senator Coffee Requires forfeiture of benefits by public officials
convicted of crimes while serving in office.

HB 2029 Senator Coates Embodies the work of the Children and Juvenile Law
Task Force to clean-up and reorganize Title 10, in order
for it to be easier to read and access information on
delinquent children.

ON GOVERNOR’S DESK…

SB 888 Senator Coffee Ends the Senate’s tag agency patronage system by
preventing lawmakers from unilaterally recommending
tag agents to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

SB 980* Senator Coffee Provides for a state Chief Information Officer,
overseeing and consolidating state information
technology services under one roof.

SB 1064 Senator Barrington Bans cell phones in prisons.


REFERENDA…

SB 692 Requires any individual that votes in person to show
“proof of identity.”

SJR 12 Limits statewide elected officials to just two terms in
office.

SJR 13 Modifies percentages required for citizen initiatives.

SJR 25 Reorganizes the reapportionment commission into a
bipartisan body.

SJR 27 Brings several reforms to Oklahoma’s Judicial
Nominating Commission.

HJR 1014 Prevents outside interests groups from mandating
certain government funding and allows for taxpayer
dollars to be spent efficiently and a budget to be
balanced in a bipartisan fashion.


HJR 1041 Requires Senate confirmation of appointments to the
Workers Compensation Court.

HJR 1042 Requires all official business of the state to be
conducted in English.

Health Care Reform:

SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR…

HB 1127 Senator Coffee OSU Medical Center – Tulsa. Public-private agreement to keep the facility operating, providing health care
access to more Oklahomans and training physicians
for rural Oklahoma.

SB 1103 Senator Coffee Provides protections for pregnant women who are
subject to domestic violence abuse.

SB 622 Senator Coffee Organ Donor expansion – mirrors similar laws in various states that help families throughout the nation receive vital organs for their loved ones.

SB 1129 Senator Anderson Allows out-of-state emergency volunteer practitioners to
work in Oklahoma without licensing during emergency
situations.

HB 1059 Senator Nichols Allows greater access to dental care for Oklahomans in need.

HB 2026 Senator Crain Includes comprehensive health care reform and creates
the Health Care for Oklahomans Act to help uninsured
Oklahomans who do not qualify for Medicaid.

HB 1595 Senator Lamb Prohibits a person from performing an abortion solely
because of the sex of the child.

HB 1114 Senator Lamb Prohibits human cloning in Oklahoma and makes it a
misdemeanor to perform or attempt to perform human
cloning.


Education Reform:

SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR…

HB 1598 Senator Sykes School Protection Act – lawsuit reform bill providing teachers and schools additional protection from lawsuits.

SB 582 Senator Jolley Expands teacher certification to qualified individuals who
have met certain requirements.

ON GOVERNOR’S DESK…

HB 1592 Senator Barrington Requires special audit of certain school districts each
year. Allows schools to use bond money to pay for
lease purchases.

SB 222 Senator Jolley The “Educational Accountability Reform Act” brings
greater accountability and efficiency to Oklahoma’s
education system to improve student achievement.

Tax Reform:

ON GOVERNOR’S DESK…

SB 938 Senator Mazzei The 21st Century Quality Jobs Incentive Act aids in
bringing business into Oklahoma, and helps our state’s
businesses become competitive.

Public Safety Reform:

SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR…

HB 1892 Senator Coffee Expands the definition of strangulation as it relates to
domestic abuse.

HB 1022 Senator Aldridge Recreates the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Advisory Council.

SB 1102 Senator Nichols “Julie’s Law,” strengthens public safety by expanding the
class of criminals subject to DNA sampling.

HB 2030 Senator Coffee Creates statewide Silver Alert for missing senior citizens,
similar to the Amber Alerts for missing children.

SB 894 Senator Coffee Allows rape victim to have immediate access to medical care before pursuing legal charges against attacker.

ON GOVERNOR’S DESK…

SB 1166 Senator Jolley Will stabilize and even enhance Oklahoma’s 911
system.

HB 2245 Senator Sykes Prohibits private prisons from accepting Gitmo detainees
or terrorists. Mandates illegal aliens serve 1/3 of their
sentence and then deported to home country. Expands
number of available private beds, saves taxpayers $6
million. Gives DOC greater oversight over speculative
private prison construction. Ability to fine private prisons
for violations of ACA standards.


Energy Reform:

SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR…

SB 953 Senator Myers Gathers energy industry experts to work on solutions to
the impending energy crisis.

ON GOVERNOR’S DESK…

SB 833 Senator Bingman Requires state agencies to develop energy efficiency
and conservation plans.


Transportation Reform:

ON GOVERNOR’S DESK…

SB 832 Senator Bingman Provides for the repair of obsolete and structurally
deficient county bridges.

Rural Caucus Reform:

SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR…

HB 1482 Senator Justice Protects farmers and ranchers from nuisance actions if the farm or ranch has been in place for 2 years or more.

HB 2054 Senator Marlatt Helps make Oklahoma’s trucking permit system more
efficient.

ON GOVERNOR’S DESK…

HB 2154 Senator Schulz Strengthens penalties for trespassing on certain lands.


COMING BACK SOON TO A LEGISLATURE NEAR YOU…

SB 834 Senator Ford The School District Empowerment Program designed to
give greater local control to Oklahoma public school
districts.

SB 586 Senator Ford Expands charter schools to federally recognized Indian
tribes.

HB 1600 Senator Coffee Modifies requirements for disability benefits by
broadening the definition of “surgery.”

HB 1601 Senator Coffee Prohibits attorneys from deducting or withholding any
portion of a judgment from a court of law or settlement
proceeds of a client for the purpose of political donation.

For more information contact:
Sen. Coffee- (405) 521-5636

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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