Friday, April 17, 2009

Open Door Policy - April 13, 2009

I'll start off the column this week thanking Lauren Brown for paging for me this past week. Lauren is currently a student at Tuttle and I went to high school with her mother, Jennifer (Scott) Gilchrist. Lauren was very active in the mock legislature and I’m sure she will be active in her community as a public servant.

I also hope I will see several friends at the Apache Rattlesnake Hunt this upcoming weekend. I printed the wrong date last week, so I hope that didn’t mess up people’s schedules. This is a great event which I look forward to every year (even if Ron Orf makes me get in the snake pit each year).

For those of you who have kept up with my eye surgery, it went very well. I purchased the LASIK surgery at the Comanche County Memorial Hospital charity auction about a month ago and am very happy with the procedure. ClearSight Vision in Oklahoma City did the operation and I appreciate their donation to the hospital for the children’s wing and Dr. Gary Wilson and Dr. Stacey Rockett for making the process go so well.

There have been several fires over the past week and I certainly want to extend my thanks to the firefighters and emergency service personnel who worked hard to keep wildfires from being much worse. We lost several homes around House District 65 and I have been in contact with officials to seek quick assistance for those affected. We are also working to get the declaration prepared for the federal government to receive FEMA assistance to offset some of the costs. Naples Fire Department lost a fire truck and Acme lost some other equipment while fighting fires, so please keep these departments in mind if you are able to give a donation, along with all the others who responded around the state. I will also be working to ensure fire grants are full-funded once again this year as this is an investment for protection for all our citizens.

I had the opportunity to also visit with Leadership Lawton while they visited the capitol last Thursday. I normally work with the group to do a mock legislature similar to what the pages see each week, but this visit occurred while we had a marathon Appropriations and Budget meeting with over 50 bills. I appreciate Wes Glinsmann, a former co-worker at the House and the current Director of State Legislative and Political Affairs for the Oklahoma State Medical Association, for stepping in to lead their forum. I have said this before, but if you have the chance, please try to visit the State Capitol to see the legislature in process. We adjourn the session on May 22, and I hope if you have the chance, you will stop by and see the process in action.

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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