Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Open Door Policy - May 22, 2007

The final week of the legislative session has arrived and members are working diligently to get their bills completed before the deadline at 5 PM on Friday. I'm still working on two bills as I write this and feel good that they will be heard. My house bill dealing with fire protection services passed the House overwhelmingly and the bill I'm authoring from the Senate passed in their chamber and is scheduled to be heard in the House. We are also working on passing several resolutions regarding issues important to the Representatives. I still have two remaining dealing with thanking the Hornets organization for the past two years and also regarding increased funding and support for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases in the military and public service employees, such as police and firefighters.
The politics has been fairly restrained since the budget agreement. The Democratic House members were successful in securing additional funds for teacher retirement, fire protection services, gang violence prevention and conservation district programs. We also managed to fully fund the Centennial Commission projects for the year, so each of the programs occurring in the district should not see cuts. I've been working with the director to make sure we do not see anything diverted at the last minute.
The House and Senate Democrats made a push this week to get some type of hearing on why gas prices have skyrocketed recently. We signed a petition to the Attorney General and the members of the Corporation Commission to request some type of investigation on potential gouging. It's insane to think the gas prices in Oklahoma are the same as on the coastal states where the cost of living is so much greater. Over the past two years, Rep. Jerry Shoemake has filed a resolution to request the federal government do something about this issue, yet it has failed to receive a hearing by the House leadership.
Interim study requests deadlines are also on Friday. Should you have an issue that you feel the legislature should examine, please contact my office by Friday at 5 PM. I will be happy to look over each request and see if there is potential to get some of these issues filed and a formal hearing be taken up. I have several requests in the works at this point and will be happy to take up more if the Speaker will allow.
It is an honor to represent your views at the State Capitol. If you wish to contact me and discuss one of these or another issue, I can be reached at my office in Oklahoma City toll-free at 1-800-522-8502, or directly at 1-405-557-7305. My e-mail address is joedorman@okhouse.gov at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559, Rush Springs, OK 73082 and my website is www.joedorman.com on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.

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