Archive for the ‘Sen. Glenn Coffee’ Category

Podcast: Coffee Talk with Senate Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee

March 31, 2008

In this week’s “Coffee Talk” podcast, Ok Sen. Glenn Coffee (R-OKC) discusses the state budget, and how things are not as dire as some had predicted.

He says he is pleased that the OK State Supreme Court rescinded its decision to not allow some records to be available online, and commended the Senate for its Open Records policy, the successful Open Books efforts by Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso), and the recent recognition of the Senate’s Sunshine efforts.

He says that in this age of YouTube and the internet, “people want to have ready access to information” online, and he is proud that the OK Senate is on the forefront of that, and hopes that other state agencies will follow suit.

To listen, click here.

Video: Sen. Inhofe’s "Super Tuesday" Watch Party

February 6, 2008

Congresswoman Mary Fallin & State Senate Co-President Glenn Coffee at the Bricktown Brewery rallying the troops for Sen. Inhofe’s re-election bid.

OKPNS founder Chris Arps & Congresswoman Mary Fallin

New Study Released on Video Game Rating

December 12, 2007

Tis the season for politicians to renew calls for rejiggering an entertainment ratings system – various presidential candidates have even called for a heavy-handed ratings system. But a new report from the Competitve Enterprise Institute explains why politically imposed rating schemes –whether for video games, radio, film, television, and comic books – prove a poor substitute for the free market.

The United States , alone among major industrial nations, relies almost entirely on the market for the distribution and rating of entertainment media, and the market-based ratings system works.

Even if the First Amendment allowed it, the study argues that parents simply don’’t need politicians to dream up a heavy handed ratings system.

Rather than push for Congressional involvement in rating video games, parents should try to involve themselves more closely with the games their children play.


Oklahoma Politician Who Authored Video Game Law is Now ESRB’s Pal.

Oklahoma Politician Who Authored Video Game Law is Now ESRB’s Pal

December 5, 2007


We’ll say it again:

Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Yesterday, an ESRB press release trumpeted yet another partnership with a state-level politician. This time it is State Senator Glenn Coffee (R) who is teaming up with the video game industry’s content rating board on a parental awareness program.

In partnering with the ESRB Coffee follows in the footsteps of the governor of Washington as well as the attorneys general of Utah, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Idaho.

The fascinating thing about Coffee’s new friendship with the ESRB is that he was one of the sponsors of Oklahoma’s 2006 video game law, a measure bitterly opposed by the industry. Coffee’s version passed the Oklahoma Senate 47-0 enroute to approval by Gov. Brad Henry. The law was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court judge.

What a difference a year – and a losing court battle – makes. Coffee is quoted in yesterday’s ESRB press release: Read more…

Compromise Lawsuit Reform Proposal Submitted to Henry

May 23, 2007

Legislative leaders in the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives have submitted a compromise lawsuit reform proposal to Gov. Brad Henry in an effort to reach an agreement before the Legislature adjourns for the year.

The proposal was developed by physicians and business groups, and addresses the governor’s concerns about Senate Bill 507 as outlined in a recent memo from the governor’s chief negotiator, State Treasurer Scott Meacham. Henry has been under fire in Oklahoman and nationally for his veto of Senate Bill 507, a bipartisan lawsuit reform bill passed by the Legislature last month.

“The need for lawsuit reform is one of the most critical issues facing our state, so in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation we have agreed to accept the compromise proposal submitted by the medical and business communities. We encourage the governor to accept this proposal so we can take a major step toward stamping out lawsuit abuse in Oklahoma,” stated Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “The ball is now in the governor’s court.”

“Time is growing very short in the session’s final days, but we’re hopeful the governor will accept this important compromise,” said Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah. “This bill represents a true compromise, but also achieves reform. Oklahoma desperately needs lawsuit reform if our state is going to move forward.”

Governor, Legislative Leaders Announce State Budget Agreement

May 16, 2007

Oklahoma City – One day after the enactment of a bipartisan tax relief package, legislative leaders and the governor on Tuesday announced the outlines of a $7.1 billion state budget agreement that speeds up tax cuts for working Oklahomans, boosts teacher pay and includes important funds for critical state services such as public safety and state prisons.

“This budget agreement is the result of hard work and bipartisan cooperation, and I thank legislative leaders of both parties for finding consensus on important issues. It hasn’t always been an easy process, but lawmakers ultimately came together to do significant things for Oklahoma, such as strengthening higher education, establishing a state bioenergy center and increasing teacher pay. This bipartisan budget addresses a number of other priorities, as well as ensuring tax relief. In all, it marks a win-win for Oklahoma,” stated Governor Brad Henry

“We said very early on that the hallmark of this legislative session would be fiscal restraint and restored accountability from government. This is the first time ever in the history of our state that a Legislature cut government spending when there was the opportunity to spend more,” said Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah. “We delivered a responsible state budget that makes record investments in core services while putting in place reforms that make clear we expect in return quality performance and results. At the same time, we have achieved real tax relief for Oklahoma’s working families – the very people whose productivity has helped fuel our economic growth. Important reforms include taking a first step toward a merit-based pay system for Oklahoma teachers and motivating our OHLAP scholars to earn better grades while in college. And for the first time, we will take a major step toward fixing our state’s prison problem by conducting a top-to-bottom review of the Department of Corrections.”

“This budget agreement focuses on protecting middle class families and provides a fiscally-responsible framework for Oklahoma’s future by opening the door to educational opportunities for the next generation. It includes important funding to keep tuition increases to a minimum at our colleges and universities and establishes a permanent funding source to ensure the long-term stability of the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship Program,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater.

“This fiscally-responsible agreement builds on the bipartisan budget and tax relief plan passed by the Legislature earlier this session, and represents a common sense compromise that Oklahomans can all be proud of – especially the tax cuts for working families and the long-term fix for the Teacher Retirement System,” stated Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “The Senate’s power-sharing agreement has resulted in a spirit of cooperation in the Legislature’s upper chamber, and this bipartisanship is evident in today’s agreement. The stage is now set for an orderly and on-time adjournment of the 2007 legislative session.”

Joint Statement From Speaker Lance Cargill & Sen. Coffee

May 15, 2007

Speaker Lance Cargill & Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee issued the following joint statement Monday evening after the governor signed into law Senate Bill 861, a package of tax relief for working families including childcare credits for stay-at-home parents, a back-to-school sales tax holiday, acceleration of income tax cuts and elimination of the franchise tax on most small businesses.

SPEAKER LANCE CARGILL (R-Oklahoma City): “This is a positive step forward in achieving a final budget agreement. Today’s enactment of tax relief is a victory for working families across Oklahoma. Tax relief has been a cornerstone issue for us, and we’re glad we can once again deliver for the people who work for a living in this state.”

SENATE CO-PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE GLENN COFFEE (R-Oklahoma City): “This tax relief package allows families to keep more of their own money. We’ve made significant progress in achieving a final budget agreement, and enactment of this tax relief package goes a long way toward moving Oklahoma forward.”

Leaders Send Letter to Henry

April 2, 2007

Dear Governor Henry,

Thank you for your letter inviting us to discuss the Fiscal Year 2008 budget. Before such a meeting is scheduled, please provide us with a copy of your comprehensive, detailed alternative to the Legislature’s bipartisan budget plan. We look forward to meeting with you once we have received your alternative proposal and compared it to the Legislature’s bipartisan budget plan. The bipartisan budget in HB 1234 has been open to the public for two weeks. We presume your alternative plan will be similarly open and detailed.

The budget adopted by the Legislature through HB 1234 is a constitutionally-mandated balanced budget based on revised revenue estimates adopted by the Board of Equalization in February. Inasmuch as your Executive Budget was prepared using revenue estimates that are no longer valid, we would like to see your alternative plan reflecting the revised revenue estimates.


Mike Morgan
Senate President Pro Tempore

Glenn Coffee
Senate Co-President Pro Tempore

Lance Cargill
Speaker of the House

An Open letter to Gov. Henry From Co-President Pro Tempore

February 23, 2007

Dear Governor Henry,

In light of your public frustrations over losing a bill that was part of your agenda, I wanted to take the time to send you a copy of a recent article I wrote. I hope it will be a framework for constructive dialog and a productive, successful session. You see, I don’t define “bipartisanship” as just agreeing to see everything your way and voting for a measure because you think it is the right thing to do. I don’t believe bipartisanship is compromise, as some people would suggest, especially if it means compromising my own principles just to get agreement. I do believe bipartisanship means to collaborate (to work jointly with others in an intellectual endeavor). I feel like you and I began such an effort when you invited me to your office to get my assistance on this measure and two others that had been sent to the Rules Committee. In an effort to work in good faith, I agreed to reassign one of those bills to another committee. Senator Morgan reassigned the other two. Two of the three measures made it out of committee with bipartisan support and are headed to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.

I certainly understand your frustration. When you served as a member of the majority in the Senate, those of us in the minority watched most of Governor Keating’s agenda items die in committee. In fact, every one of us in the minority had to live with our own bills being killed in your committee and others. I learned as a member of the minority that you have to let those things go. It taught me to not take it personally, but rather to work to get the issue done in other ways – often in a Democrat authored bill. As a regular victim of your veto pen, I have had to relearn this lesson many times. This taught me not to worry about getting the credit, but rather to focus on the policy over politics.

I didn’t see Governor Keating complain when you and members of your party killed his agenda items. Instead, he worked hard to find common ground, as he would walk up to the fourth floor to meet with legislators to reach a solution together. As I pledged to you when we met recently in your office, I am committed to just such a process.

Senator Morgan and I have worked hard to keep an atmosphere of civility in these first three weeks as we deal with a most unusual and delicate situation in the Senate. So far it has worked very well. We have encouraged our members to avoid unnecessary partisan rhetoric and to try to make our power-sharing agreement work. The Senate works differently under these circumstances. You have repeatedly and publicly criticized some of the new procedures we have implemented, such as placing bills that can’t get bipartisan agreement in the Rules Committee and the calling of committee caucuses to avoid rash decisions that could lead to conflict if members have questions about the new procedures. I hope you will begin to understand that even though you haven’t heard of these measures being done in the past, they were developed in a bipartisan manner to get the work of the people done. Senator Morgan and I both recognized the difficulty of this task and that it would likely result in fewer bills becoming law. That is why we are trying to focus on the things we can agree on and not the issues that will divide us. I hope you will join us in this process.


Glenn Coffee, Co-President Pro Tempore

Lawmakers & Operatives Spin Death of Governor’s Pre-K Program for 3-Year-Olds

February 22, 2007

Gov. Brad Henry’s controversial plan to create a state-funded pre-kindergarten program for three-year-olds is dead for the next two years following a tie vote in the Oklahoma Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill, SB 518, died on an 8 to 8 vote Wednesday. Under the Senate’s new power-sharing agreement, a bill receiving a tie vote on “final action” in a committee is dead for the next two years.

Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee said the bill’s defeat does not signal the end of bipartisanship in the evenly divided Senate. It is just an example of a policy difference between the two parties on a specific proposal.

“I am proud of the eight members of the Appropriations Committee who took this brave stand and said our state should not commit to this expansion of government at a time when we are facing a tight budget,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “But Senate Republicans continue to look forward to working with Gov. Henry on areas where we can find common ground, like fixing the Teacher Retirement System.”

Coffee said there is also significant division among early childhood education advocates about whether Henry’s plan is an effective one.

Democrats obviously had different views on the defeat of the bill.

Governor Henry said The vote amounted to “pure politics”. “Republicans caucused right before this bill, whipped everybody into shape and came back and voted lockstep against the bill.”

Treasurer Scott Meacham said that scientific research on the benefits of enhancing brain development during the early childhood years is unanimous. “Most development occurs before age 3, then slows by age 5, Meacham said. “Making an investment during the formative years can pay big dividends on down the road, when students are learning academic skills,” he said.

“I would urge you to put aside your partisan rhetoric,” said Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada, the bill’s author.

ODP Chair Lisa Pryor wrote in her morning rant” this morning:

“Yesterday all eight GOP members of the Senate Appropriations Committee voted against Oklahoma’s families and three-year olds.”

We love bi-partisanship.


OKLAHOMA City (AP) A bill to expand the number of Oklahoma children that qualify for Medicaid benefits passes the Senate Rules Committee today.