Thursday, March 12, 2009

Open Door Policy - March 9, 2009

This week has been a deadline week for the Oklahoma legislature as all House bills must pass out of the House of Representatives to the Senate and Senate bills must pass over to the House. I have been diligently working on helping restructure the bond package from last year which the Supreme Court struck down as having too many different programs in one bill. I think the new bond package on the conservation programs will fit under the scope expected by the judicial branch. These bonds are needed to provide the necessary repairs to many of our flood control dams around the state.
The legislature considered an amendment I presented which would have allowed night hunting of feral hogs on private property outside of deer season. This amendment was defeated for fear of poaching, but I argued we are punishing the honest people by preventing this and poachers will still break the law. This idea was presented to by Ron Black of Wild Oklahoma, an Oklahoma outdoors show which airs locally. They held a feral hog hunt on Saturday which collected game for their Paralyzed Veterans of America fundraiser which I attend each year.
I co-authored House Bill 1422 by Rep. Eric Proctor, which would guarantee tuition to post-secondary institutions for the children and spouses of soldiers who are killed in combat. This is important as we have seen many of our soldiers give the ultimate sacrifice. I also co-authored House Bill 1072 by Rep. Charles Key, which allows easier access for political parties to allow third party candidates access to the ballots in Oklahoma elections. I also want to encourage the registered Democrats to please attend their local precinct meetings on Thursday night. The more people who attend, the better representation for how people feel their party should handle issues.
On Tuesday, I had the chance to visit with the Leadership Class from Caddo Kiowa Career Technology Center. I also had the opportunity to visit with the Leadership Class from Canadian Valley Career Tech last Thursday in Chickasha and attend the Elks Lodge pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday. Other events I attended were the REC appreciation dinner for a our local volunteer firefighters and the Comanche County Livestock show.
I appreciate all the surveys which have been returned, both by mail and by email. This is giving me a good insight to your views and how policies should be implemented. We have had many bills heard which I do not feel are good for the people of our state and the rural way of life, so I look forward to sharing more on those as this deadline week ends.
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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