President Pro Tempore
Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 20, 2011
Sen. Brian Bingman
Senate adjourns after session full of victories
Pro Tem happy about the direction of Oklahoma
The Oklahoma State Senate adjourned today capping off a year of
legislative victories that will mark the most successful session
for government reform and conservative goals in the history of the
state. Leading an ambitious caucus that aggressively delivered on
goals that have been on Republicans’ agenda for decades, President
Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said he was proud of the accomplishments.
“I am very happy about this session and all that the Senate
accomplished this year,” said Bingman. “As a state,
Oklahoma is moving in the right direction.”
Mentioning the sweeping reforms passed into law this session,
Bingman said that the Senate began its work with an aggressive agenda.
“Our Republican caucus agenda was big and bold; it was easy
to criticize because it went after so many reforms that conservatives
have pushed for decades in Oklahoma but have been unable to accomplish
until now because of our GOP majority and Republican governor.”
The current legislature is the most Republican in state history,
which along with a Republican governor has given the GOP an opportunity
that Senate Republicans did not pass up. “We live in a conservative
state, the people have spoken and we are listening,” said
Bingman. “Our priorities were to reform state government in
a way that eliminates inefficiencies and duplication so that government
size and costs are reduced. The federal government should follow
our lead in cutting government, including the tax cuts that we enacted.”
“When is the last time the legislature saved as much as
it spent,” asked Bingman referring to the massive cost savings
that resulting in this years historic pension reform that erased
more than $6 billion from the unfunded pension liability. “Oklahoma
is an example to the rest of the country; the days of no fiscal
accountability and liberal tax and spend policies that left our
state with billions of debt are over. We cut taxes despite the $500
million budget shortfall. We then balanced a budget that is the
same size as the amount of money we saved on pension reform.”
Bingman included praise to the Senate Democrats. “I firmly
believe that this is a body of 48 valuable members that have all
added greatly to the process this year. While we have a majority
and a minority caucus, both have contributed by offering their life
experiences and expertise as a unique perspective and conscious
on every issue that we addressed. Our strong finish is a result
of diligent work from Democrats and Republicans alike.”
“I cannot thank my colleagues enough; they all did such
a great job this session working hard and diligently to the end.”
Senate Republican agenda items passed this session include:
Job Creation and Economic Development
• SB862 - Ends joint and several liability, removes section
on joint tortfeasor. Signed by Governor on 4/5.
• HB2128 – Limits noneconomic damages to $350K. Signed
by Governor on 4/5.
• SB865 - Jury shall be instructed that no damage award for
personal injury or wrongful death is subject to income tax. Signed
by Governor on 4/5.
• HB2023 - Requires that the actual amount paid for certain
medical bills will be admissible at trial, instead of the amounts
billed for expenses incurred. Signed by Governor on 4/18.
• HB2024 – Periodic payment of damages. Signed by Governor
• SB878 – Workers’ compensation reform, complete
re-write of current law. Sent to Governor.
• HB1008 – Reinstated aerospace engineering tax credits.
• HJR1002 – Limits ad valorem increases to 3% annually.
Filed with Secretary of State on 4/25.
• Lowered taxes by allowing the top income tax rate to be
reduced from 5.50% to 5.25%.
• HB1909 – Corporation Commission is authorized to allow
multiunit horizontal wells under certain conditions, and may unitize
a shale reservoir for the drilling of horizontal wells under certain
limited circumstances and conditions. Signed by Governor on 4/13.
Reforming Oklahoma Government
• HB2170 – General Appropriations bill, created a balanced
budget with prioritized spending. Sent to Governor on 5/18.
• SB541 – State agencies may accept electronic payments
for licenses and permits. Director of the OSF shall publish a financial
services cost-performance assessment documenting each appropriated
state agency's cost for providing financial services. Those in the
bottom 10% of cost performance audit for shared financial services.
Signed by Governor on 5/16.
• HB1601 – Establishes business licensing one-stop shop
• HB1304 – Consolidates all state information structure,
operations and purchasing procedures under the direction of the
Chief Information Officer within the Office of State Finance.
• HB2140 – Consolidates Dept of Central Services, Office
of Personnel Management, Employees Benefits Council, and the State
and Education Employees Group Insurance Board into the Office of
• HB1207 - Establishes State Government Conferences Web-based
Transparency pilot program.
• HB1086 – Payments from Treasury shall be conveyed
electronically. Establishes OK State Government Open Documents Initiative.
Establishes a website in which all state forms may be downloaded.
State agencies shall enter into a shared services agreement with
OSF for payroll processing. State shall develop employee performance
• HB1044 – Agency rules must cite federal or state law,
court decision, or other authority. Rules which establish or increase
fees must be approved by the legislature. Signed by Governor on
• SB377 – Establishes investment committee for Teacher
Retirement System. Signed by Governor on 5/10.
• HB1007 – Teacher Retirement System administered by
the State Dept of Education. Signed by Governor on 4/18.
• HB1010 – Modifies the age which justices may be eligible
for retirement benefits. Signed by Governor on 5/10.
• SB891 – Public schools increase retirement rate for
teachers who return to employment after retirement. Signed by Governor
• SB347 – Municipal officers convicted of crimes lose
their retirement benefits. Signed by Governor on 5/10.
• SB794 – Changes normal retirement age for employees
participating in the OK Public Employees Retirement System to 65
for those whose date of enrollment follows 11/1/11. Signed by governor
• HB2132 – Cost of living adjustments for public employee
pensions must be funded. Signed by Governor on 5/10.
Infrastructure and Transportation Improvement
• HB2171 - $70M transportation bond that supports the ongoing
commitment to the ROADS fund and eight year plan.
• SB923 - Increases fine and jail term for those soliciting
others to join a gang. Persons committing gang related offense in
assoc with street gang are guilty of felony. Immunity for school
personnel reporting gang activity of students. Signed by Governor
• HB1652 – Allows for those with concealed carry licenses
to keep firearms in vehicles when parked at career tech.
• SB529 – Erin Elizabeth Swezey Act. Those who receive
a DUI are required to install inter-lock devices in their vehicles.
• HB1319 – Strengthens penalties for DUI offenders.
• SB674 – Strengthens requirements for those seeking
an application for a child care facility and those who are employed
in child care facilities. Signed by Governor on 5/18.
• HB1380 – Removes trial de novo. Signed by Governor
• SB664 - Reduces the percentage that school districts may
expend for administrative costs. If the districts exceed those percentages,
the excess is deducted from next year's state funding. Signed by
Governor on 5/2.
• HB2115 - Allows expenditure from School Consolidation Assistance
Fund to school districts that have entered into a mutual contract
for a superintendent.
• HB1372 – Adds elementary principals and assistant
superintendants to the administrative expenditure cap. Signed by
Governor on 4/20.
• SB256 - Charter schools choosing to lease property shall
be eligible to receive current government lease rates. Signed by
Governor on 5/9.
• SB445 – Charter schools are allowed to enroll emergency
transfer students. Signed by Governor on 5/9.
• HB1456 – Allows schools to be graded on A-F scale.
Signed by Governor on 5/4.
• SB346 - Mandates reading proficiency assessments in early
grades. Students not reading at grade level by 3rd grade must be
retained. Signed by Governor on 5/4.
• SB969 - Creates OK Equal Opportunity Scholarship Act. Credit
for any taxpayer who contributes to an eligible scholarship granting
organization. Signed by Governor on 5/16.
• HB2139 – Allows the Supt. of Public Education to oversee
the Dept. of Education. The Board of Education oversees public instruction.
Signed by Governor on 4/8.
• SB435 – One member of the Board of Education is appointed
from each congressional district along with one at-large member.
The board members serve at the pleasure of the Governor. Sent to
Governor on 5/18.
Affordable and Accessible Health Care
• Supported the Governor in the decision to reject $54M early
innovator federal health care grant.
• Enacted lawsuit reform to lower malpractice rates. SB862,
SB865, HB2023, HB2024, and HB2128.
• SB679 - OK Health Care Authority may administer sanctions
to Medicaid recipients who abuse state Medicaid program. Signed
by Governor on 5/17.
• HB1381 – Helped rural hospitals by passing the Supplemental
Hospital Offset Payment Program Act. Signed by Governor on 5/13.
• SB547 - All qualified health plans offered through an Exchange
established in the state are prohibited from including elective
abortion coverage. Signed by Governor on 4/20.
• HB1888 – Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Prohibits abortions after 20 weeks except in certain circumstances.
• HB1970 – Physician must examine patient before providing
RU-486. RU-486 must be supplied congruent with FDA guidelines.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Bingman: (405) 521-5605