I was in Oklahoma City over most of the weekend visiting friends in the hospital. I won't mention their names, but please keep those from our area who are sick or injured in your prayers. It is amazing what the will of people and the spirit can do to heal when there are friends who believe in you. I'm sorry I had to miss a couple of events at home, but I felt that I needed to be at the hospital to be with friends and help those families in need.
Best wishes are to be extended to one of my colleagues who will be leaving the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Ryan McMullen, who shares a portion of Caddo County with me, as well as other parts of the state to the west and north, will be leaving the legislature to take a position in the Presidential administration running the USDA Rural Development Programs. This area is key to providing assistance through grants and loans to rural Oklahoma. Ryan will do an excellent job in this job.
Congratulations are also extended to Keith Parker, a former resident of Elgin, who was selected to be the Vice-President of the Bricktown Rotary Club. This is a great group of people who do quite a bit of civic work. Keith is an outstanding leader and will do a lot of good in this capacity.
Interim studies were approved by the Speaker of the House this past Friday. Three of my ten studies were approved, so I will be busy preparing for those. The studies were:
1) Updates on Tax Increment Financing Districts;
2) Rural Firefighter Training Programs; and
3) Prison Reintegration Programs, which was combined with a study to be held by Rep. Kris Steele.
Of the 167 interim studies, 120 of them were approved. I'm disappointed the Speaker did not see the need to study some of my subjects like school drop-out rates and the need to fully-fund disaster reimbursement, but that will not deter me. I will be holding meetings on each of my seven studies and I will invited the members to attend and learn more about the subjects. I hope I will see legislators and members of the public present to analyze these issues and I will certainly keep you informed through this column.
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.