I hope everyone had the chance to enjoy the holiday with family and friends. It was a pretty quiet Christmas for the Dorman family in Rush Springs. I spent Christmas day with mom and later at a movie with the Meyers family. She and I also drove to her hometown this past weekend to see relatives for an after-Christmas visit.
Good luck to the Cowboys versus Oregon! I'll be watching that game on Tuesday and I will be spending New Years with friends from college and watching the bowl games and the ball drop for 2009. Next week, I get to spend the National Championship game at the Leadership Oklahoma conference where I'll be presenting on how the legislative process works in Oklahoma. We are beginning the time when things get busy at the Capitol and I'll be spending most of January visiting local schools and civic organizations speaking about the upcoming session, along with pre-session committee work. I will also be touring a prison in the near future to visit with prison ministers in regards to policies they face with the state.
The committee assignments were given out last Wednesday and I was very pleased with the positions I received. Speaker Benge placed me on four committees and I look forward to serving on them for the next two years. I was one of three Democrats that received four committee positions, so I was very honored with his trust in me to handle the job. I have also scaled back on some of my positions at the Capitol in caucuses where I felt work was not getting done as it should. I plan on dedicating more time to the committee work and to working on issues tied in with legislation by trying to find bipartisan solutions.
The committees I will be serving on this next term will be:
1) Appropriations and Budget - dealing with the state budget and the anticipated cuts in services and agencies;
2) Rules - the committee that deals with much of the controversial legislation, such as constitutional amendments and policy changes;
3) Administrative Rules and Agency Oversight - approves or rejects rules changes that govern state agencies and review performance of the agencies; and
4) Common Education - deals with all issues involving schools grade kindergarten through twelfth grade.
I'm looking forward to my service and I feel the membership was well thought out for the upcoming hard times we will see here in the state over the next couple of years. We have not seen as much of the economic hardship here as have the other states, but we must still plan on doing all within our power to provide for our citizens, but maintain a balanced budget and be responsible with our state fiscal policies. Now more than ever, we need bipartisan support for many issues and I appreciate the Speaker for placing that faith in me with these committees appointments.
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.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vd3d3LmpvZWRvcm1hbi5jb20= on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.