President Pro Tempore
Senator Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 27, 2016
Sen. Brian Bingman
Oklahoma Senate Leader Comments on 2016 Legislative Session
Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Brian
Bingman, R-Sapulpa, commented on the close of the 2016 legislative
“Much focus was rightfully placed on the state budget this
year, as the state grappled with a historic shortfall of $1.3 billion.
At the start of the session, the Senate said it wanted to protect
our core services like education and health care from devastating
budget cuts. Like most budgets I’ve voted on in my time in
the Senate, this budget isn’t perfect and there are things
the Senate wanted to do that we couldn’t because of the financial
crisis. Despite the historic budget shortfall brought on in part
by the economic slump gripping the energy industry, we passed a
budget that closes the shortfall while avoiding extreme cuts and
worst-case scenarios in our schools, our hospitals and nursing homes.
“This year, we also made some tough, but necessary choices
to reform special tax breaks and budgetary reforms that will end
the reliance on one-time sources of money to pay for recurring expenses
in the state budget. This puts the state budget on much more solid
financial footing and signals that Oklahoma’s a stable place
“Beyond the budget agreement, the Senate this year enacted
several important public policy reforms. The Senate worked to eliminate
the end-of-instruction exams to free up teachers and students from
high-stakes testing so they can focus on classroom learning. We
helped Oklahoma families whose children struggle with autism by
making sure their insurance plans cover autistic children.
“We passed key criminal justice reforms that will protect
public safety, give nonviolent offenders a better chance at rehabilitation,
and ultimately ease prison overcrowding saving the state millions
of dollars that can be used instead on priorities like education
and mental health services.
“We strengthened existing laws in order to protect the victims
of sexual assault and domestic violence, and we gave judges the
ability to consider post-traumatic stress disorder as a mitigating
factor when making sentencing decisions for veterans.
“Oklahoma’s roads will be safer because of a bill we
passed to close a loophole that allowed repeat drunk drivers to
get multiple DUI convictions in various jurisdictions without being
held accountable. And we ensured the funding was made available
to restore and repair the state Capitol building.
“I want to thank my fellow members for all their hard work
during an extremely challenging legislative session. Good things
were accomplished despite the difficulties that were faced.
“I want to thank my constituents for giving me the opportunity
to be their voice for 12 years here at the state Capitol, and to
the members of the Senate who elected me to serve as leader of this
chamber for the past six years. It has been an honor and a privilege.”
—Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
For more information,
Sen. Bingman: (405) 521-5780