OK Lawmakers Convene for Session

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Governor Henry today called on the state
Legislature to unite and support excellence in education, better
health care and fairer taxes.

Henry delivered his "state of the state" address to a joint
session of the state House and Senate shortly after the 50th
Legislature convened at noon.

The Legislature includes a Republican majority in the House for
the first time since the 1921-22 session.

Henry called for lawmakers to honor a commitment to raising
teacher salaries to the regional average and for passage of a $500 million bond issue for improvements at colleges and universities. He also promoted his plan to import prescription drugs, reform workers' compensation laws and for additional lawsuit reform.

And the governor praised the state Army and Air National Guard and called for passage of his plan of tax exemptions for military pension income and a 250-thousand-dollar life insurance policy for every guardsman.

Henry also promoted his plans for tax rebates, income tax cuts, a sales tax holiday for back-to-school purchases and investment in high-tech research.

He opened the speech by talking about the coming tenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, saying it showed Oklahomans can come together as a family.