Archive for the ‘Spkr. Cargill’ Category

"Conserving Oklahoma Act" Advances

March 4, 2008

KSWO in Lawton is reporting that House Bill 3394, also alled the “Conserving Oklahom Act” Rep. Lance Cargill (R-Harrah) was approved Monday by the House General Government and Transportation Committee, and now goes to the House floor.

Cargill sees the act as a long-term investment, and said,

HB 3394 would require all new state-owned buildings or major renovations of state-owned buildings to meet a high-performance certification program, commonly known as LEED, which promotes effective energy and environmental standards…Several recommendations submitted through the 100 Ideas process suggested the state needs to do a better job planning,” said Cargill, R-Harrah. “The LEED system does just that, providing a more thoughtful approach to save taxpayers money.

KSBI reported last week:

There has been criticism about the LEED system. Some say it’s not stringent enough because its scoring system is skewed toward fossil fuels. Representative Cargill says inspiration came from the ‘100 Ideas’ book. It was released in January and features the laws Oklahomans wanted to see. If the ‘Conserving Oklahoma Act’ becomes law, it would not affect any buildings or renovations that entered into the design phase prior to July first of this year.

Click here to see the KSBI video, and hear how HB 3394 fits into the state enegergy savings discussion at the capitol.

Merit Pay Bill for Teachers Advances

February 28, 2008

OK HB 3390 moves to the full house after being approved by the Education Committe yesterday. This bill, authorized by former Speaker Cargill, who is critized the current pay-scale, which is based on years of service:

That’s a 19th-century industrial model of compensation. Pay raises should be targeted to teachers who go the extra mile, work hard.

Thad Jones, co-author of the bill and chair of the Education committe explained,

There are no mandates in this legislation – school districts can decide if they want to participate and if they do, they are able to craft a plan around their local needs.

Each plan must include the following components:

  • Growth in student achievement based on a nationally recognized test, student attendance goals and improvement or gains in graduation rates (this component will make up a majority of the basis for the award/bonus)
  • Professional development
  • Collaboration and/or mentoring
  • Principal and peer review by trained evaluation teams

Democrats and the Oklahoma Education association are critical of the bill, which they say does not adequately address the fact that Oklahoma teacher salaries are currently below the regional average.

Cargill Still Costing Oklahoma Money

February 18, 2008

Former OK House Speaker Lance Cargill resigned late last month from his position because of the publicity of allegations of failure to pay personal property taxes.

The Tulsa World is reporting that a recent bulk mailing to Cargill’s constituents, explaining he was too busy with work to take care of his personal business, were mailed using the States bulk mailing service, on letterhead that was used when he was the House Speaker.

Former House Speaker Lance Cargill is planning to mail out 6,000 letters — at state expense — to apologize to his constituents for failing to pay his taxes on time.

Bulk mailing through the House costs 22 cents per letter, so the cost of mailing Cargill’s 6,000 copies would be $1,320.

House Chief of Staff Chad Warmington said Friday that it was Cargill’s decision to send the letters through the House mail room. They hadn’t been mailed Friday because a postage machine was broken.

Changing Leadership

February 4, 2008

By Rep. Jason Murphey

This week the House of Representatives took action to elect a new Speaker of the House. While I look forward to working with new House Speaker Chris Benge, I think it is important to acknowledge the accomplishments of former House Speaker Lance Cargill.

When I sought your vote for State Representative, I did so for very specific reasons: I wanted to shrink the size of state government and the high level of taxes we are forced to pay to support it. As I visited with the people, they told me of their belief that there is much waste in government. They also helped me realize how important it is for strong leaders to attack that waste. In advocating for change, I wanted to reduce the salaries of Oklahoma legislators (the third-highest paid part-time legislators in the nation), adhere to a policy of refusing all personal gifts and political contributions from lobbyists, oppose pork earmarks, and advocate for legislation that turns up the heat on legislators who accept lobbyists’ gifts.

Some have said that taking such controversial stands would make it difficult to work with the leadership of the House. Cargill saw to it that this was not the case. He honored my desire to work for change and asked me to join his study to modernize state government. This study has demonstrated that Oklahoma has 515 agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs), which is almost 2½ times the size of comparable states. Read more…


Regular readers of the Oklahoma Political News Service read it here first that Benge would probably be the new speaker.

Cargill Resigns As Speaker

January 28, 2008

A statement from House Speaker Lance Cargill

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 28, 2008) – “I have decided to step aside today as speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. I want nothing more than to have good ideas to move forward without the burden of being weighed down by personal stories about me. I have always said my leadership has been about good ideas, and this move will allow those ideas to flourish as they should.

“For several weeks, our policies heading into the session have been buried in the newspapers, while personal stories have remained on the front pages. I take full responsibility for that, and hope that a new speaker can shift the focus back to the future of this great state.

“This decision came after I spoke with most of my colleagues over the weekend. I am humbled and honored by the outpouring of support the caucus has shown me and their continued endorsement in my leadership. But, one of the responsibilities of a leader is putting the needs of the whole before the needs of my own.

“For the future I will, with more inspiration than ever, fervently pursue my ideas from a chair at the back of the chamber. I remain confident that we can still make 2008 a year of solutions.

“This has been a remarkable journey. Many of you know that I was raised in the small town of Harrah. My dad was a fork-lift driver and mom was a stay-at-home mother. My parents worked hard, lived right, and taught my brother and me about faith, family and community. I have to say it was my upbringing, and the inspiration of my family, that allowed me to be the first in my immediate family to graduate from college and to attend Vanderbilt law school.

“I came home to Oklahoma because I this is where I want to live, these are the people that I love, and because I aspired to be a servant of the people and an agent for change. I have spent the past five years tearing down the walls of the old-guard that left Oklahoma stuck in the past, unable to inspire and incapable of moving forward. So for me, this is both a time of reflection and to celebrate our accomplishments.

“Tomorrow for me is a brand new day as I will unveil the 100 Ideas book, which we spent the past year writing. It was truly a bi-partisan initiative and we have together written a book full of innovative ideas. I hope that it’s time to put those ideas on the front pages of our newspapers, so that we can have a genuine and open debate about the best way to move Oklahoma into the second century.

“I know there are a lot of questions about how this move will impact the upcoming session and our caucus is working out the details and we will have more answers in the coming days.”

Cargill Discusses Teacher Pay & Immigration at OKC Chamber Meeting

January 18, 2008

From The Journal Record:

OKLAHOMA CITY – The chairman of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber didn’t waste any time Thursday morning before addressing what is perhaps the most divisive topic in the state. The issue pins many legislators into a position where they must choose to incur the displeasure of the business community, the anger of some rather vocal citizen groups within their districts, or even the ire of members of their own political party.

House Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah, speaks on teacher pay and education Thursday at the 2008 Legislative Breakfast in Oklahoma City.   (Photo by James Keathley)

House Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah, speaks on teacher pay and education Thursday at the 2008 Legislative Breakfast in Oklahoma City. (Photo by James Keathley)

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber unanimously supports the repeal of the immigration law, part of which went into effect Nov. 1. Additional provisions designed to deter businesses from hiring people who live in the U.S. without the proper documentation are slated to go into effect July 1.

Nichols said the Tulsa Metro Chamber and The State Chamber also support repealing the law. Read more…


Statement from Speaker Cargill

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 17, 2008) – “Opposing reforms like charter schools and performance pay is not ‘standing’ for children. It is protecting the status quo, which is exactly what Oklahomans wanted to get rid of when they threw the Democratic majority out of office three years ago,” House Speaker Lance Cargill said.

“House Republicans have put forward record investments in education, raising the Department of Education’s budget to an all-time high of $2.5 billion in the current fiscal year. We led the entire country in teacher pay raises on a percentage basis over the last three years. It was 80 years of Democratic leadership that resulted in teacher pay being near the bottom of the barrel. We can’t fix it overnight, but in the three years since Republicans have had the majority in the House, we have done more than any other state to improve teacher pay. They can just keep wasting everyone’s time with inaccurate, deceptive, partisan releases; we are going to keep moving the state forward,” said Cargill, R-Harrah.

“It is absurd to imply that we think our public school teachers are ‘inferior’ and ‘inept’. We have so many great teachers in this state and that is why we want to create a program to reward that excellence,” said House Education Committee Chairman Tad Jones, R-Claremore.

OU student Wins 100 Ideas Scholarship

January 18, 2008

Oklahoma ’s 100 Ideas Initiative officials presented yesterday a $12,500 scholarship to a University of Oklahoma student for a bold idea she submitted to improve education. Speaker Lance Cargill and University of Oklahoma President David Boren presented the winner of the program’s essay contest with her scholarship award in a check presentation ceremony at OU’s Alma Wilson Room in the Student Union.

Chosen from 130 contest entries, OU student Maggie Cochrane received the scholarship for her essay, “ Greener Schools , Greater Schools, Grander State .” In addition, Cochrane’s idea on how to improve the state will be published in the 100 Ideas Initiative book along with her profile.

Cochrane’s idea suggests the state combine the challenges of financing public education with those of preserving the environment. Through money-saving green projects and decreased energy usage, schools can redirect financing to educational programs and teachers’ salaries while students simultaneously learn about biology and conservation.

“By positioning itself at the forefront of the environmental awareness and the public education initiatives,” her essay reads, “ Oklahoma will become a model for other states in terms of its unmatched commitment to the nation’s children and the nation’s future.”

More than 3,400 citizens from across Oklahoma submitted their ideas for state transformation since the initiative launched in January 2007. The result will be a book of 100 of the best ideas. The book will be unveiled to the public on Jan. 29.

Meacham-Cargill Race in the Works

January 17, 2008

State House Speaker Lance Cargill and State Treasurer Scott Meacham are often mentioned as candidates for the 2010 Oklahoma governor’s race. Both are far from making such an announcement but the handwriting is beginning to appear on the Capitol walls.

Mr. Meacham, who also serves as the state’s finance director, says it appears the available growth revenue amounts to about $32 million. Mr. Cargill told a Tulsa audience the figure is closer to $300 million but didn’t provide specifics as to how he arrived at that total. Read more…

Democrats Learn About Candidates

January 11, 2008

By D. E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer

House Republicans clamoring for a streamlined and more efficient government were chided Thursday before a crowd of more than 50 Muskogee County Democrats.

The party faithful gathered during a regular business meeting at the Muskogee Public Library to hear pitches from state representatives of the Democratic presidential hopefuls. Those pitches, however, temporarily took a back seat to comments about what is expected to be a “contentious legislative session.”

Rep. Jerry McPeak, D-Warner, who attended the meeting to speak on behalf of presidential hopeful John Edwards, scoffed at House Speaker Lance Cargill’s recent claims of fiscal responsibility and government efficiency.

“He’s so cotton-picking efficient he’s had to double his staff and increase the amount of money it takes to run the House,” McPeak said about Cargill to an enthusiastic and receptive audience. “They (House Republicans) spent $1.6 million on new furniture I didn’t want — I would have rather given that money to the children and the schools.”

Read More

Is Mike Huckabee Piking Up Support From Cargill and Others?

January 10, 2008

Hat tips to Okie Campaigns and McCarville

On December 18, 2007, A fundraiser was held at the 13-acre Dallas estate of Gene and Roxanne Phillips.

(Phillips figured in the controversial end of Democrat Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher’s term in office. Fisher left office after questions were raised about his acceptance of office furnishings from Phillips and his associates. Phillips was interviewed twice by investigators from the attorney general’s office, the grand jury’s legal adviser, and Phillips’ business associates were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. One associate appeared before the grand jury twice. Stephen Jones, Phillips’ Enid attorney, was successful in fighting efforts to force Phillips to appear.)

Read More

Will Gary Jones Jump the Shark Too?

Read Part 3