Thursday, May 31, 2007

Open Door Policy - May 29, 2007

The legislative session ended this past Friday and now it's time to sort through the piles that have stacked up. I had two bills go to the Governor and I'm still waiting for his signature on the bill dealing with firefighter training and funding, along with the creation of a controlled burn indemnity fund established through the Conservation Districts. I do not expect any problems from this bill since I never heard of any efforts to work against it. Every organized fire association, the conservation districts and the agricultural associations were all in support of this bill.

The session was smooth for most as the power-sharing agreement worked in the Senate and the House members were able to work together on issues such as the budget, immigration, education reform and health care. Despite some of the partisan wrangling on a few issues, most everyone got something of what they wanted to see this year from the session.

The deadline for interim studies has passed and I want to thank each of you that submitted ideas. I turned in 26 requests for study and hopefully the Speaker will approve them. I, along with my interns and the House Staff, have all started work on some of these and I expect some good ideas will come forth from these meetings. I will do a detailed explanation of some of these in the coming weeks, along with others requested by different legislators.

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day! The services at Fort Sill and Elgin were very moving and the weather was very cooperative. It's was good to get back home and see friends at these events. I also enjoyed Cement's 105th birthday celebration with the parade and the main street roped off for people to have a fun day of fellowship. I got several comments about shaving off my beard there. If you hadn't heard, I told a group they could shave my hair and beard if they raised $1,000 for a Relay for Life and they got over $1,800. It's a good summer haircut for a great cause!

The week ahead has me speaking to the Grady County Democratic Women's Club about the legislative session, the Sovereignty Symposium regarding tobacco legislation and tribal compacts, the Association of General Contractors will discuss road funding and Ninnekah has their 115th birthday celebration this Saturday. I will be getting around to see people around the district over the next few weeks and catch up with the time off from the Capitol until the studies begin. I enjoyed the trivia lessons on Tuesday in Elgin while getting coffee, so it's good to see some things don't change while we are in session.

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 at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559 , Rush Springs , OK 73082 and my website is on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.

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