Archive for September, 2007

Senator Tom Coburn: The Doctor Of Truth

September 30, 2007

Dr. Coburn Explains Hold on NICS bill

September 29, 2007

“When politicians create new ways to spend money they should be forced to do what every American family has to do and make choices between competing priorities. This bill authorizes more than $2 billion in new spending that is not paid for with reductions in other lower-priority areas of the budget. As Congress prepares to raise the debt limit once again, it is not too much to ask politicians to do the job they were elected to do and make choices. Veterans, or any other American, should not lose their Second Amendment rights if they have been unfairly tagged as having mental health concerns. The bill does not fund a process by which such individuals can regain their rights.”

Click here to read the American Legion’s letter of support for Dr. Coburn’s position on the NICS bill.

Energy Group Offers Scholarship In Fallin’s Name

September 28, 2007

Tecumseh Countywide News & Shawnee Sun:

The Energy Advocates, a not-for-profit organization based in Oklahoma, has announced it will provide student scholarships in the name of Oklahoma Fifth District Congresswoman Mary Fallin.

Fallin responded to the announcement, saying “I am deeply grateful this fine organization has chosen to honor me in such a way.”

“The Energy Advocates membership is committed to raising public awareness of all aspects of the energy industry.” Read more…

Energy Group Offers Scholarship In Fallin’s Name

September 28, 2007

Tecumseh Countywide News & Shawnee Sun:

The Energy Advocates, a not-for-profit organization based in Oklahoma, has announced it will provide student scholarships in the name of Oklahoma Fifth District Congresswoman Mary Fallin.

Fallin responded to the announcement, saying “I am deeply grateful this fine organization has chosen to honor me in such a way.”

“The Energy Advocates membership is committed to raising public awareness of all aspects of the energy industry.” Read more…

Inhofe Statement on SCHIP Legislation

September 28, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today announced that he is a co-sponsor along with Senators Lott (R-Miss.) and Coburn (R-Okla.), among others, of the SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (S.2086), which provides an 18-month clean extension of the SCHIP program without the big-government expansions in the Democrats’ SCHIP re-authorization legislation (H.R.976). The temporary extension is consistent with the President’s plan and increases funding in accordance with CBO estimates of the costs to ensure that every state’s SCHIP program is fully funded when the current program’s authorization ends on September 30th.

“I support the original intent of the SCHIP program, which provides health coverage for uninsured children in need,” Senator Inhofe said. “Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats have been playing politics with the SCHIP re-authorization bill, using it as a vehicle to advance their long-standing agenda of socializing healthcare and creating a new middle-class entitlement.

“The Democrats’ legislation unnecessarily expands state-wide health insurance coverage from low-income, uninsured children to include entitlements to some upper-middle class families and adults, forcing the federal government to insure adults with funds intended for children. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that almost 2.1 million people eligible in this new bracket could drop private coverage in favor of government-run, taxpayer-funded insurance. This unprecedented expansion toward nationalized healthcare will detrimentally affect the quality of coverage available to Americans.

“Congress needs to pass a clean extension of SCHIP that maintains the original intent of the program by providing health insurance for the millions of uninsured, low-income children across the country, not middle-class adults. I co-sponsored the SCHIP Extension Act to do just that – provide an 18-month extension of the SCHIP program, ensuring that children are still able to receive health insurance when the program expires this week.”

Believing in Oklahoma; Fighting for the Next Generation

September 28, 2007

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm of Durant

Hello again, everybody! Over the next several weeks, the celebration of Oklahoma’s Centennial will be in full swing.

Compared to most of our neighboring states, Oklahoma is young. In fact, most communities in my Senate district are older than Oklahoma. As young as Oklahoma is, it is remarkable what we have achieved.

During my recent tour of area schools, one question almost always came up. “What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Oklahoma?”

For me, the answer is simple. Our biggest challenge is simply believing in ourselves and our state. For much of our short history, Oklahomans have been convinced that our state cannot compete and win – except on the football field. Read more…

News9: Oklahoma Speaker of the House Lance Cargill Remains at the Center of a Growing Controversy

September 28, 2007

Related:

AP: Young speaker embroiled in ethics controversy again

Fair And Biased: WILL THE MYSTERY MAN PLEASE ID HIMSELF?

NewsOk.com: Fundraising probe ‘witch-hunt,’ ex-official says

Boren Bill Would Mandate Colon Cancer Screenings

September 28, 2007
WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, on Tuesday began promoting a bill that would mandate insurance pay for colon cancer screenings.

Boren cited his family history as a reason for legislation expanding coverage to 28 states that do not require insurance companies to pay for the screenings.

He was accompanied at a Capitol news conference by his sister Carrie Boren, missioner for evangelism at the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas.

Read More

Education Cost Studies Needed, Report Author Says

September 28, 2007

The Norman Transcript

Transcript Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY –State leaders need a much better understanding the costs associated with meeting new education standards, the author of a controversial Oklahoma education study said this week.

John Augenblick, the president of Denver-based Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, defended his firm’s 2005 study of the way Oklahoma’s education system is funded, saying the questing of how much it cost a state to provide education services which meet governmental standards is “a pretty new question.”

Augenblick’s two-part study, “Calculating the Cost of an Adequate Education in Oklahoma,” analyzed the “adequacy of revenues available to elementary and secondary school districts in Oklahoma” for the 2003-2004 fiscal year.

Read More

Experts Warn that Vital Public Programs are at Risk

September 28, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2007
For more information contact:
David Blatt, Public Policy Director
Community Action Project
918.382.3228

OKLAHOMA CITY – If the fiscal policies of reducing revenue continue, state government will lack the resources necessary to properly fund vital programs on which Oklahomans rely. According to members of the Alliance for Oklahoma’s Future, dramatic funding cuts in state services such as education, public safety, and state pension programs are inevitable if further reductions in state revenue occur this coming legislative session.

“Because of recent decisions enacted by the Legislature, Oklahoma’s revenue growth has slowed dramatically and we are facing long term budget shortfalls,” said David Blatt, Alliance chairman. “Costs for the state’s existing programs are increasing faster than revenues and this situation will further put the squeeze on those priorities that matter most to Oklahomans.”

The Alliance was called today to speak to members of the House Revenue and Tax Committee regarding changes to Oklahoma’s tax structure. The Committee chair posed the question, “Should Oklahoma cut taxes and if so, which ones?”

“With a grossly underfunded education system, increasing poverty rates among Oklahoma’s children, crumbling roads and bridges, and a crowded prison system, we believe these are the wrong questions for the committee to be asking,” said Blatt. “First and foremost, we need to guarantee that we are meeting our goals as a state to achieve an adequate tax system that provides every Oklahoman opportunity, prosperity and security.”

The Alliance proposed the following recommendations to the Committee:

• Take a breather from further tax cuts;
• Evaluate the current tax structure’s capacity to adequately fund the state’s goals;
• Develop long-term budget forecasts;
• Modernize Oklahoma’s tax system;
• Maintain a balanced tax structure; and
• Preserve and ensure equity in the state income tax.

Further testimony by Elizabeth Hudgins, Senior Policy Analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a national nonpartisan policy research organization, pointed out that Oklahoma’s taxes are already among the lowest in the nation. “Oklahomans pay among the least in the country in state and local taxes, ranking 43rd nationwide,” said Hudgins. “Policymakers should consider their state’s goals and priorities and ensure a tax system that works for all Oklahomans.”