Archive for the ‘Sen. Owen Laughlin’ Category

Official English Bill’s Supporters Disappointed by Senate Democrats’ Obstruction

May 7, 2008

Press release from Senate Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward

Supporters of the bill to make English the official language are disappointed that Senate Democrats utilized a rarely-used procedural maneuver to block an up-or-down vote on the bill by sending it to a conference committee.

The bill’s author, Senate Republican Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, said the Democrats’ obstruction likely kills Senate Bill 163 for the 2008 session.

“Making English the official language of our state is an issue whose time has come in Oklahoma. I am very disappointed that Senate Democrats voted in lock-step to block an up-or-down vote on this important issue,” stated Laughlin, R-Woodward. “Senator Morgan sent a pretty strong signal on the floor that the Democrat leadership plans to kill this bill in conference.”

Other supporters of SB 163 also expressed their concerns about the Senate Democrats’ action.

“Republicans have made the Official English proposal a priority for many years. We believe the people overwhelmingly agree that English should be our official language. I am sorry that the Senate Democrats have continued to block the people’s right to vote on this important issue,” stated Sen. James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa.

“I’m disappointed but not surprised by the Senate Democrats’ actions. Instead of allowing the people of Oklahoma to vote on this critical issue, they maneuvered it into a conference committee where they can gut and kill the Official English bill,” said Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso.

“The Senate Democrats’ substitute language is just a piece of paper that does not change the status quo. It still requires the state to expend funds to provide unnecessary translations for government services. Our version would have stopped the silly lawsuits that seek to force our state to provide services in any number of foreign languages,” said Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore.