Thursday, July 16, 2009

Open Door Policy - July 13, 2009

This was a busy weekend as we saw the OKC Thunder, our professional basketball team, visit Chickasha and Anadarko on Saturday. It was a pleasure to meet many of the staffers who make the operation work so well and have a chance to visit with them about how much they have enjoyed their time in Oklahoma. Many of them moved here from Seattle and they have been pleasantly surprised with the genuine Oklahoma hospitality they have experienced. I have gotten to know several of the employees and have been happy with the job they do in promoting Oklahoma through the NBA to the rest of the world and have especially enjoyed the community service activities they have generated.

I also had the opportunity to attend a meeting this past week hosted by Oklahomans for Health Care Reform. This group is not to be mistaken as being for or against the national health care proposals, but they have certainly looked into many of the decisions made by politicians at all levels on needed reforms. I, along with five other state legislators, attended this forum and answered concerns about state laws which have been passed and legislation that has yet to be considered. I spoke to the need for increased access to rural ambulance services and health care. I also addressed the need for doctors to police their profession better and remove those physicians who are hurting the rest through harmful acts. These repeat offenders drive up insurance rates for the other doctors due to malpractice suits and end up costing us all more in medical bills.

On Monday, I attended the bill signing for SB 712, the legislation which declares our flags shall be flown at half-staff to remember soldiers who have been killed in the line of duty of service to our country. This legislation is a small token of remembrance for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and has been an unofficial practice until now. My thanks to Senator Gumm and Representative Roan for authoring this bill and for allowing me to help in it's passage.

We lost another good friend in our area as O'Dessa Birdwell passed away last week. O'Dessa graduated from Rush Springs High School, but spent most of her life in Fletcher as a mother and school teacher. I appreciated her friendship, advice and support over the years. She was a true community leader and a will be missed by all who knew her.

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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