Senate Republicans list education, health plans

Legislative Staff Release

Published: 11-Feb-2010

Republicans in the Oklahoma State Senate released the final section of their three-part 2010 Legislative agenda, focusing on the areas of Education and Health Care.

“Providing quality education for our young people is the foremost goal of any healthy and growing state,” said Senator John Ford, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. The Bartlesville Republican said, “Senate Republicans recognize this, and we are raising the bar in terms of the educational goals we are setting for our state through our 2010 legislative agenda.

Senate Majority Leader Todd Lamb addressed the GOP’s goals on health care, saying,  “While we don’t believe something as important and personal as one’s health care should be controlled by the government, we strongly believe that government policies can enhance health care access and quality, and our agenda reflects that conviction.”

In a release sent to CapitolBeatOK, Senate Republicans said they reject the health care policies being developed in Washington, and urge Oklahomans to make their voices heard on this budget-busting proposal. “Oklahomans from all walks of life and political persuasions are saying “no” to the policies coming out of Washington,” Lamb added.  “And even though many of their Democrat elected officials have endorsed the plan, we believe those who have are out of touch with their constituents.”

Republican goals for Education include bills that will:

·    Promote higher graduation rates and lower dropout rates through increased rigor and accountability.  Legislation has been filed that would create a formula for schools to set new graduation targets.

·    Enhance greater enrollment and attainment in post secondary (college and career tech).

·    Expand opportunities for all students through use of online learning.

·    Retain and reward Oklahoma teachers performing at the highest level by implementing a performance pay model for compensation.

·    Advance opportunities for the creation of charter schools.

·    Take steps to ensure the Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System obligations are met.

In the health care arena, the GOP Senators listed bills to:

·    Retain and attract quality doctors and other health care providers to all areas of Oklahoma.

·    Continue current commitment to OSU Medical Center.

·    Fight for relief from the Federal government’s micromanagement of Oklahoma’s health plan through waivers and block grants.

·    Uphold our commitment to protecting the sanctity of life.

·    Support goals of Oklahoma’s Health Improvement Plan.

Republican Senators will work with members in the Senate and House to advance the above goals, and to pass these measures on to the Governor for his signature.