Hot off the press – what follows are the high priority agenda items for the next legislative session. I heard my Senator speaking about this last night. He hopes that they under promise and over deliver. Translation: it would be wise to pick a few of these key issues and get something accomplished. I think he is right on the money, after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
( I am sure there is a version of the Oklahoma Senate Democrat’s high priority agenda items – but I have not been able to locate a copy. Rest assured, that when I get my hands on one, I’ll post it. After all, the Senator’s wife likes to be well versed on all sides of the aisle. )
Oklahoma Senate Republicans
2009 Legislative Agenda
Presented Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Taxes and Fiscal Responsibility
Senate Republicans will make fiscal responsibility a priority in the state budget by opposing irresponsible budgeting practices.
Limit growth of government and reduce the tax burden of Oklahoma families.
Expand the successful back-to-school sales tax holiday by adding school supplies to the list of tax-exempt items.
Eliminate ineffective and obsolete special interest tax breaks, freeing up money for more broad-based tax relief.
Help Oklahomans keep more of their hard-earned dollars by fighting to reduce the income tax rate and curb the growth of property tax assessments as much as fiscally responsible.
Take steps to ensure the Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System is fiscally sound for current and future generations of teachers and retirees.
Support giving parents more choices in the education of their children, particularly those who are trapped in low performing schools.
Give local school boards more control, providing these schools a chance to improve student learning by freeing them from the burden of many state mandates.
Health care reform
Support efforts to reduce the uninsured by creating more affordable insurance options.
Support efforts to increase the number physicians in Oklahoma, partially by ensuring the continuity of the OSU Medical School in Tulsa.
Enact meaningful election reform, including:
Voter ID. Republicans believe it is neither unreasonable nor inconvenient to require identification of voters in the polling places to ensure clean, fair elections and assuring one person, one vote.
Make all statewide elected officials, such as the lieutenant governor, attorney general, and corporation commissioners, subject to the same 12-year term limits that apply to state legislators.
Create an Office of Accountability and Innovation to eliminate waste in state government.
Republicans are committed to ensuring sufficient funding for roads and bridges.
Lead the country in actions to develop energy independence through Oklahoma energy sources.
Legal reform and workers’ compensation reform
Reform the judicial nominating process by requiring Senate confirmation of appointments to the Workers Compensation Court and appellate courts.
Protect teachers and school officials from being sued for enforcing discipline and other school policies in the classroom, provided state law and school policies are followed.
Reform Oklahoma’s Workers Compensation system to maximize benefits to employees and reduce costs to Oklahoma employers
Reform Oklahoma’s legal system to ensure fairness, lower the costs, create jobs, attract more physicians and protects the rights of all.
Once I’ve had time to read all of this, ( and ask my Senator a few questions), I’ll weigh in with my thoughts!