Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and the Senate Republican Caucus on Thursday unveiled their 2017 legislative agenda with a focus on long-term solutions to build a more prosperous Oklahoma.
“This agenda is our vision of how we’ll make an already great state even better. Because the decisions we make at the Capitol have a long-term impact, it’s important we have a plan of where we want to guide Oklahoma in 5, 10 and 20 years. Senate Republicans are united in our desire to implement ideas and policies that will help our state’s economy grow and put us on a long-term path to prosperity.
“Helping our economy grow means more good-paying jobs for Oklahoma families and more resources to fund core government services without raising taxes,” said Schulz, R-Altus.
“With a bold vision and leadership, our state can be a model that shows free-market, conservative ideas can empower the individual and foster a thriving economy. There are challenges ahead in the short term, but we want Oklahomans to know we are planning for the long-term and are working on policies that will benefit Oklahoma families and businesses,” said Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat, R-OKC.
The 2017 Senate Republican Agenda:
A MORE PROSPEROUS OKLAHOMA
• Streamline and eliminate excessive regulations to stimulate job creation and economic growth.
• Provide more stability, reliability and transparency in the state budgeting.
• Promote economic development and the diversification of the state’s economy.
• Support transportation infrastructure including the eight-year plan.
• Identify job-creating tax incentives, and eliminate ineffective tax incentives by supporting the work of the Incentive Evaluation Commission.
INVESTING IN FUTURE GENERATIONS
• Support teachers by removing obstacles that interfere with a teacher’s ability to help students learn and achieve.
• Reduce costs and overhead in an effort to increase teacher salaries.
• Allow parents, taxpayers, and local school boards to more closely direct the quality of education in the classroom.
• Ensure accountability measures provide parents and taxpayers a useful and accurate reflection of school performance and student achievement.
A SAFER OKLAHOMA
• Support law enforcement officers and the rights of the citizens they are sworn to protect.
• Monitor the implementation of criminal justice reforms.
• Provide oversight of law enforcement agencies and promote cooperation.
A HEALTHIER OKLAHOMA
• Promote access to quality health care services especially for rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma.
• Encourage “block grant” programs from the federal government that empower Oklahoma to infuse free-market principles into health care plans.
• Reduce waste and duplication at health care agencies, and utilize innovative health care delivery methods.
• Work with private and public partners to address mental health and substance abuse issues.
PROTECTING CHILDREN AND SUPPORTING FAMILIES
• Improve foster care and adoption services in Oklahoma, and strengthen support for foster families.
• Reform social service programs so they offer economic mobility and help end dependency on government assistance.
• Eliminate restrictions on non-profits and faith-based organizations that help fill the gaps in social services.
• Continue Oklahoma’s commitment to defending the sanctity of life.
SUPPORTING VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES
• Work to minimize licensing challenges for military spouses due to relocation.
• Support public-private partnerships to develop comprehensive health care.
• Ensure Oklahoma veterans are connected with existing mental health and social service programs.
• Increase protection of service members’ financial and contractual rights when mobilized or deployed.