Firefighters plan Capitol rally
Paid and volunteer firefighters from across the state are expected to rally on the south steps of the state Capitol to voice concerns about legislation affecting pensions and the workers' compensation system. The rally, led by the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday. Rick Beams, president of the Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma, said firefighters must stand united to oppose attempts at reducing injury compensation benefits and changing the workers' compensation system from a court system to an administrative system. Firefighters plan to visit lawmakers after the rally.
Governor to speak at Harvard
Gov. Mary Fallin will be among featured speakers Monday at a Harvard University conference on education and workforce development. The governor will focus on education initiatives in Oklahoma such as degree and certificate completion, the strength of the CareerTech centers and the need to work closely with the business community to produce a skilled workforce. The Creating Pathways to Prosperity conference, sponsored by the Pathways to Prosperity Project, brings together representatives from education, business, government and philanthropy to discuss education and workforce development. The project is based in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and aims to find solutions to prepare young adults to lead successful lives in America.
House speaker to be conference panelist
House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, is participating in the Conservative Political Action Conference under way in Washington, D.C. Shannon, 35, is one of nine young conservatives featured at this year's event. Rep. Elise Hall, R-Oklahoma City, also is attending. She was among a group of young political leaders and activists invited to speak.
Lawmaker calls for pay decrease
Rep. Jason Murphey said Friday that Oklahoma legislators, who are among the highest paid part-time lawmakers in the U.S., should be paid less. He said Oklahoma's lawmakers make more than double the regional average. To illustrate his point, Murphey, R-Guthrie, donated $8,242, the difference between annual legislative pay and the per capita pay in Oklahoma at the time of his 2006 election, to Crossroads Clinic in Guthrie. The Christian-based nonprofit provides pregnancy-related medical services, life-giving options education, client advocacy, support for prenatal care, parenting education, post-abortion peer counseling and abstinence education. It also offers abortion-vulnerable women a scan to confirm viable pregnancies.
MICHAEL MCNUTT, CAPITOL BUREAU