Senate Communications Division
With budget review hearings slated to begin next week and the 2013 Legislative Session right around the corner, the Senate on Friday announced a new website dedicated to giving members of the public and the press instantaneous access to the research materials and other presentations senators will use as they develop the Fiscal 2014 budget.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Clark Jolley said the addition of the webpage and a larger monitor in 419-C, the conference room where Senate Appropriations meetings are held, represented a tremendous leap forward in providing timely, detailed information about the budget process.
“These enhanced services will actually be available next week when we start our 2013 Performance hearings, one of the first steps in the budget process,” said Jolley, R-Edmond. “These advancements are actually going to make it easier for our members and the public to access information, and make it easier for us to track, access and archive these materials.”
The Senate Appropriations website is http://appropriations.oksenate.gov/. It can also be accessed through the Senate’s homepage at www.oksenate.gov. Those logging on can watch streaming video of budget meetings while viewing reports, copies of bills and votes.
Among other on-going modernization efforts is the addition of TV monitors in all committee rooms as well as the capability for live webcasting. Room 419-C, the Senate’s largest committee room, has also been equipped with a 90 inch screen so that everyone in attendance can view document text and see committee votes. One of the additional benefits is reclaiming lost seating which was required by projectors formally used with a smaller screen.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman has promoted additional technological advancements which were unveiled during the interim, and said Friday’s announcement was part of that ongoing effort.
“We are working to move the Senate into the modern era of web-based communication, moving from the costs, constraints and waste of paper-based information, while widening access to the creation of laws and the writing of the state budget,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “I want to thank Senator Jolley for his leadership, as well as Chief of Staff, Randy Dowell, our IT Director John Warren, Assistant Director Devin Ngo, and all our staff for their work on behalf of the Senate and the people of Oklahoma.”
The first paragraph in the Politico story reads: Mayors in cities with high gun violence rates are ready to lead a push for stricter gun laws, frustrated by years of inaction at the state and national level.
Here’s how it should read: Mayors in cities with high gun violence rates are ready to lead a push for the eradication of urban gangs, frustrated by years of their inaction and their inability to control criminals.
Hysteria runs rampant amongst the gun-grabbers. The worst of them want government confiscation of all firearms. Others argue for a ban on semi-automatic firerarms. Most of their arguments are irrational, based on half-facts or outright fiction they’ve invented to bolster their case.
It is true that the recent mass shootings have been the work of demented individuals; but it also is true that every time the mayors and others cry out for gun control, they cite homicide statistics fueled by drive-by gang shootings in large cities.
The cultural divide this controversy has generated is profound. The divide is as evident as the blue states versus the red states in last year’s presidential election.
The hypocrisy evidenced by a president who is opposed to armed guards in schools yet who sends his own children to a school with armed guards has made him a sneer on the faces of those of an unlike mind.
Barack Obama was elected president four years ago saying he wanted to unite the nation.
He has done the opposite; the nation is divided as never before.
Jan 18 2013 | Posted in General
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Michael Taylor, a veteran of service in state and county government and a past Oklahoma state commander of the American Legion, announces he will seek the Republican nomination for the Senate District 40 seat.
The seat will be vacated by term limited Senator Cliff Branan in 2014.
“I believe my experience with the nuts and bolts of government at the state and local levels would bring a much-needed perspective to the Legislature,” Taylor said. “With the many uncertainties and mandates coming out of Washington these days, we need to be even more cautious with how we spend the taxpayer’s money. Someone who has actually worked in the trenches assuring that tax money is spent efficiently and wisely would be an asset to the Senate.”
Taylor currently serves as second deputy to District Two Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan. In that role he oversees work by county road and bridge crews, and works closely with other county departments. He also served as a staff member of the Oklahoma Department of Labor during the administration of former Commissioner Brenda Reneau, and with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
“One lesson I have learned through government service is that we must do more to eliminate duplication and increase efficiency,” Taylor said. He said a major goal of his legislative service would be to encourage job and business development by eliminating unnecessary regulations and assuring a trained capable workforce.
“Having a child in one of Oklahoma’s finest charter schools has reinforced my belief that parents and students deserve a wide range of choices in education,” he said. “I am a strong supporter of parental choice.”
He is also committed to assuring services to the elderly, veterans and the disabled.
Taylor is an Air Force veteran who served as a weather specialist. He has long been active in veterans’ issues and served as state commander for the American Legion. He was also appointed by Gov. Brad Henry to the state War Veterans Commission.
Taylor and his wife, Miranda, have been married for 16 years. They have two daughters, Allison, who attends Harding Charter Prep School, and Kathryn, a student at Messiah Lutheran School. They attend Messiah Lutheran Church, where Taylor has served as a board member for the school. He has also served as a public policy coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association OK/AR chapter.
Senate District 40 includes parts of Bethany, Warr Acres, The Village, Nichols Hills and northwest Oklahoma City. Branan has represented the district for three terms and is term limited in 2014.