I want to start off by wishing everyone out there a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I had a busy week as I was able to catch up with many people at their end of year gatherings and parties. I was able to enjoy time with the Grady and Caddo County Superintendents, the Cyril school teachers, the Elgin school teachers, the Rush Springs Lions Club and several other groups and individuals. I also had the chance to visit with a group of students from Cement Public Schools as they took a tour of the Capitol and I prepared chili for the staff at the Capitol earlier this week as a thanks for the great job they did this past year for us.
The bill deadline for writing language will be on hand next week, so I've been working some long hours getting the wording correct in the bills. Among the ideas I requested, here are a few of them:
1) a bill to deal with alternative fuel conversion for vehicles and a credit for stations to install fueling ports, along with training of equipment at the career tech centers;
2) legislation establishing a debit from the Rainy Day fund to cover the cost of federally declared disasters for the 12.5% match the state has to pay;
3) language to set up a revenue stream to fund the solvency of teachers retirement from oil and gas lands currently directed at to the school lands permanent trust;
4) legalization of Utility Terrain Vehicles on county roads;
5) exemption of 4-H and FFA premium checks at livestock auctions by declaring them scholarships and exempting the sales tax on auction items for non-profit charities;
6) establishing a tax credit for medical personnel who volunteer time at secondary school athletic events; and
7) providing for water needs for emergency management in rural areas through rural water district assistance.
I will also have a few other ideas to file and I will be carrying several bills from Senate authors. If you have any suggestions on bills, please contact my office and I will look into them.
I hope you have a safe, warm couple of weeks over the holidays and be careful out on the roads, whether it be icy weather or watching out for the other people on the roads.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559, Rush Springs, OK 73082 and my website is http://www.joedorman.com/ on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.