Monday, February 4, 2008

Open Door Policy - Feb. 4, 2008

On Monday, we saw the beginning of the second session of the 51st Oklahoma Legislature convene. It was a time of hope and optimism as Governor Brad Henry delivered the State of the State and called for his agenda to be implemented over the coming months by the House and Senate. Many of his programs were greeted with enthusiasm, while others were not as well received. I can already tell it is going to be a busy session with quite a bit of debate.
Of more importance to the internal workings of the House of Representatives, we elected our new Speaker to finish out this term. Rep. Chris Benge of Tulsa was voted in on a unanimous vote of the membership of the House. I've worked with Chris for many years and feel he will do a good job of cleaning up the problems we've seen with ethics over the past few months. Chris has been fair to the members as the Appropriations and Budget Chair and I feel he will be willing to work with all members despite their party affiliation. I wish him well and look forward to working with Speaker Chris Benge.
This first week of session will begin the four month period where I will be working with the potential new laws for our state. While I will be kept in session Monday through Thursday, please let me know about any events that you would like me to attend. I will do my best to make it to those during the week and will certainly make every attempt while I am home on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The past two weeks were very busy around the district with many events going on in which I was included. We had the Apache Chamber Banquet with Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, the Southwest District 4-H Conference (where I was able to teach parliamentary procedure), Grand Citizens Day in Elgin, county basketball tournaments (congratulations to my teams that won), the Chickasha fire department bean supper and several pre-session committees. I also had the chance to meet with members of the Cyril Town Council in regards to an economic development project, Chickasha City officials and ODOT to discuss future road programs and also citizens from Elgin in regards to industrial access programs which are in the works. I expect many other great things to happen as we have projects close to being revealed by some of the communities.
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 home number for work is 1-580-476-2626. 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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