/articleid/3319458/1/pictures/512486"> Oklahoma House Speaker Chris Benge, left, and Senate Republican leader Glenn Coffee say the pledge of allegiance on Wednesday. PHOTO BY DOUG HOKE, THE OKLAHOMAN
In the 1930s, no Republicans were in the Senate.
Coffee and Benge said lawsuit reform would be a top issue for GOP legislators. And with having control of both chambers with the largest number of Republican members ever, both said they will have a Republican-backed plan before Democratic Gov. Brad Henry after legislators return next year.
Both said they expect a measure will be brought up again in the upcoming session that would give tax credits for donations to help low-income students go to private schools. A similar measure was defeated this year.
Some in the group asked the lawmakers to stop the practice of giving tax breaks or tax credits to private businesses.
Benge said other states offer the incentives to businesses, and Oklahoma would be consistently out of the running in attracting businesses or getting existing businesses to expand in Oklahoma without being competitive.
The group is one of the most conservative groups in the state and the most active. Members have met every week for 17 years except once, and that was when the meeting date fell on Christmas Day.