Is Governor Henry really Corrupt

Oklahoma State Senate
Co-President Pro Tempore
Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 418
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5636

June 6, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Ziriax, Leadership Assistant
Office of the Co-President Pro Tempore
State Capitol: (405) 596-3874
ziriax@oksenate.gov

Henry Says No to Accountability and Innovation in Government

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – A lot of good ol’ boys at the State Capitol oppose the Senate Republicans’ efforts to make state government more open, more efficient, more accountable, and more innovative.

Gov. Brad Henry is apparently one of them.

Friday Henry vetoed Senate Bill 1865, by Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, that would have created an Office of Accountability and Innovation at the Legislative Service Bureau.

The office was to conduct regular performance audits of agencies, recommend best practices to improve efficiency in government, review tax policy, and suggest new innovations to make government more accountable and effective for taxpayers.

“Gov. Henry’s veto is a big victory for the good ol’ boys don’t want us to succeed in making state government more open, more accountable, more efficient, and more innovative,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.

“There are a lot of people who would prefer that the Legislature didn’t try to weed out political corruption or ask questions about why taxpayer dollars are spent on projects such as McAlester dog food plants. These people are very happy that Gov. Henry vetoed this bill,” Coffee said.

“Our proposal for a new Office of Accountability and Innovation is similar in concept to the U.S. Congress’s Government Accountability Office. This bill represented an effort to make government better, so I am shocked and disappointed the governor said no to SB 1865.

“Gov. Henry’s veto is not the end of this story, though, because Senate Republicans will be back again next year fighting to change state government for the better by making it more efficient and more accountable to the people of Oklahoma,” he said.

Oklahoma State Senate
Co-President Pro Tempore
Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 418
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5636

June 6, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Ziriax, Leadership Assistant
Office of the Co-President Pro Tempore
State Capitol: (405) 521-5654
ziriax@oksenate.gov

Henry Chooses Trial Lawyers over Teachers, Vetoes School Protection Act

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – When it comes to choosing trial lawyers or teachers, Oklahomans now know where Gov. Brad Henry’s loyalties lie: The trial lawyers.

Friday Henry vetoed a bipartisan lawsuit reform bill that would have curbed lawsuit abuse against teachers and school administrators who enforce discipline in the classroom. The veto is a major blow to teachers and schools, but it protects Henry’s allies in the trial lawyer industry.

The School Protection Act, Senate Bill 1024, is authored by State Senate Co-Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward, and State Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa. The bill was supported by the Oklahoma Education Association.

“It’s ironic that the self-described ‘education governor’ has put the interests of the ‘Big Trial Lawyers’ industry ahead of the interests of teachers and schoolchildren. It is very discouraging to see the lengths this governor will go to stop even the most modest of lawsuit reform proposals from becoming law in Oklahoma,” said Laughlin.

“Once again Governor Henry has vetoed a bipartisan lawsuit reform bill, and once again he has refused to tell the Legislature which reforms – if any – he is actually willing to support,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “It’s becoming painfully clear there is no lawsuit reform proposal this governor will sign. We may have to go to a vote of the people if we ever want to accomplish meaningful lawsuit reform for Oklahoma.”

Editors’ note: Here are Highlights of The School Protection Act :

• Would have provided liability protection for actions taken in good faith by a school district for the out-of-school suspension of a dangerous or disruptive student pursuant to applicable Oklahoma Statutes.

• Would have provided liability protection for losses or claims resulting from the use of “necessary and reasonable force” by a school district employee to control and discipline a student during the time the student is in attendance or in transit to and from the school, or at a school function.

• Would have awarded attorneys’ fees and court costs to school districts that successfully defend a lawsuit against the district or an education employee.

• Would have made it a crime for students to falsely accuse education employees of criminal activity.

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