Friday, May 20, 2011

Senate Pro Tem happy about the direction of Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Senate adjourned today capping off a year of legislative victories that will mark the most successful session for government reform and conservative goals in the history of the state. Leading an ambitious caucus that aggressively delivered on goals that have been on Republicans’ agenda for decades, President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said he was proud of the accomplishments.

Sen. Brian Bingman
“I am very happy about this session and all that the Senate accomplished this year,” said Bingman. “As a state, Oklahoma is moving in the right direction.”

Mentioning the sweeping reforms passed into law this session, Bingman said that the Senate began its work with an aggressive agenda. “Our Republican caucus agenda was big and bold; it was easy to criticize because it went after so many reforms that conservatives have pushed for decades in Oklahoma but have been unable to accomplish until now because of our GOP majority and Republican governor.”

The current legislature is the most Republican in state history, which along with a Republican governor has given the GOP an opportunity that Senate Republicans did not pass up. “We live in a conservative state, the people have spoken and we are listening,” said Bingman. “Our priorities were to reform state government in a way that eliminates inefficiencies and duplication so that government size and costs are reduced. The federal government should follow our lead in cutting government, including the tax cuts that we enacted.”

“When is the last time the legislature saved as much as it spent,” asked Bingman referring to the massive cost savings that resulting in this years historic pension reform that erased more than $6 billion from the unfunded pension liability. “Oklahoma is an example to the rest of the country; the days of no fiscal accountability and liberal tax and spend policies that left our state with billions of debt are over. We cut taxes despite the $500 million budget shortfall. We then balanced a budget that is the same size as the amount of money we saved on pension reform.”

Bingman included praise to the Senate Democrats. “I firmly believe that this is a body of 48 valuable members that have all added greatly to the process this year. While we have a majority and a minority caucus, both have contributed by offering their life experiences and expertise as a unique perspective and conscious on every issue that we addressed. Our strong finish is a result of diligent work from Democrats and Republicans alike.”

“I cannot thank my colleagues enough; they all did such a great job this session working hard and diligently to the end.
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