Senator Holt’s Column for OKC Friday

This is the latest column by Senator David Holt in the OKC Friday newspaper, published April 15, 2011.

HISTORIC LEGISLATURE SEES UNPRECEDENTED REFORMS

 by Senator David Holt

Greetings, Fridayland!   Thank you for the opportunity to represent you in the Oklahoma Senate.  

As you read this, the Senate and House have completed committee consideration of bills that had previously passed out of the opposite chamber.   A handful of those bills have already advanced to the floor and on to the Governor’s desk.  

As you know, this is a historic Legislature, completely controlled by Republicans for the first time.  As such, reforms that were once unprecedented have become commonplace.   So far, the most significant legislation to make it all the way to statute has been lawsuit reform.   Last week, Governor Fallin signed the most aggressive lawsuit reforms in state history.  This will create a better environment for business, and it fulfills a promise Republicans have made for years.

The Governor has also signed two bills I authored.   One makes it legal to conduct grand prix races in Oklahoma City.   The second makes it easier to convict sex offenders when they violate the terms of their sentence.

Still ahead of us are many major issues, including educations reform, finalizing the budget, and drawing new Senate and House districts.   Though some bills have made it to the Governor’s desk, hundreds are still working their way through the process.

One such bill is mine, SB 826.   This bill reforms the process of binding arbitration, which takes the power of the local purse away from the taxpayers and their elected representatives and gives it to an out-of-state arbitrator.   It has caused unsustainable budget situations in Oklahoma City and municipalities across Oklahoma.   At the local level, public sector unions in Oklahoma are some of the most powerful in the nation.   SB 826 tries to restore some balance.   Not surprisingly, the AFL-CIO is fighting the bill, but I will continue to stand with the taxpayers.

Thank you for your interest in the issues facing our community.  If you ever need anything, or have an opinion to share, simply contact me through the information that appears on this editorial page every week.   Thank you again for the honor of serving our community.

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