|Sen. Brinkley Sworn In For Second Term|
by GOP Caucus To Serve As
Assistant Majority Floor Leader
November 18, 2014
Sen. Rick Brinkley has officially begun his second term after being sworn in during an oath of office ceremony at the Capitol on Tuesday. Brinkley, R-Owasso, was automatically re-elected to the District 34 seat after being unopposed in the 2014 elections.
It is both an honor and truly humbling to be able to continue to serve in the Senate, Brinkley said. When I was sworn in four years ago, Oklahoma was facing major challenges. We were still in the grips of the recession and needed to create jobs and generate resources for our schools, roads and bridges and public safety. We did that and now we can focus on creating greater prosperity for the people of this state.
Following Tuesdays ceremony, the Senate Republican Caucus met to elect its leadership team for the 55th Legislature, and Brinkley was chosen to serve as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. During his first term, Brinkley served as Majority Whip as well as Chair of the Senate Pensions Committee and Vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. A minister and Chief Operating Officer of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Oklahoma, Brinkley has championed legislation to fight meth manufacturing in Oklahoma, reduce taxes, and modernize Oklahomas pension system for new employees, enabling the state to better compete for the best and brightest workers in the 21st century.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman said he was extremely happy that Brinkley was returning to the chamber for another term.
Senator Brinkley has been an important part of our caucus as we worked to create an agenda that would move Oklahoma forward. Thanks to his efforts, weve built an excellent foundation, giving us the opportunity to accomplish even more on behalf of the citizens of our state in the next four years, said Bingman, R-Sapulpa.
The Senate will hold a one day organizational meeting on January 6, and the 2015 session will formally get underway on February 2.
|Group of 35 legislators: Potential Court ruling could overturn a decade of tax relief for Oklahomans|
|Oklahoma State Legislature
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 20, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY A group of 35 state legislators released an open letter Thursday voicing concerns about the possibility that many tax relief measures passed in Oklahoma over the past decade could be overturned, should the state Supreme Court rule that tax reductions must meet the guidelines of State Question 640.
Passed on a statewide ballot by voters in 1992 as an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution, SQ 640 was intended to make it more difficult for the state Legislature to increase taxes. According to the provision, all proposals increasing state taxes must either be sent to a vote of the people or receive three-fourths approval in both houses of the Legislature. Such measures also cannot be approved in the final five days of the legislative session.
At question is the fate of Senate Bill 1246, an income tax reduction measure passed by the Legislature during the 2014 session. The new statutes constitutionality has been challenged in a lawsuit, filed with the state Supreme Court, on the grounds that it did not meet the standards of SQ 640. The Court heard arguments on the suit last month.
The 35 lawmakers who endorsed the letter hail from all four quadrants of the state. The two legislators who carried SB 1246 in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively state Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, and state Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang endorsed the letter.
In the letter, the lawmakers make the case that it was not the aim of Oklahoma voters in 1992 to make it more difficult for the Legislature to reduce taxes. Rather, the intent was to make it harder to increase taxes.
If the Court were to rule against SB 1246 on the grounds that tax relief measures must meet the standards of SQ 640, numerous previous tax reductions could be overturned, including: income tax reductions, estate tax repeal, increases in the standard deduction, gross production tax rate reductions, manufacturing exemptions, and tax relief for retirees, military veterans and disabled veterans.
|RedBird Robotics Team|
15th our RedBird Robotics team competed at the State Qualifier at Memorial
High School. The FIRST LEGO LEAGUE or (FLL) combines building, programming,
team work and a real world problem and solution to the competition.
Our team is sponsored by the Indian Education Department of Collinsville
Public Schools. This year we had three members on our team, Ben Caputo,
Colin Goddard and Lane Hutchens. The Coach is Julie Reynolds and High
School mentor is Cannon Vogel. On Saturday at the competition there
were more than 80 teams competing. Our RedBird Robotics team came in
11th in our division (out of 22). What we learn, as a team, is more
important than winning an award.