Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Open Door Policy - Dec. 8, 2009

The surgery on my deviated septum went very well and I appreciate all the get-well cards and notes, and especially the Filippo's for making me take it easy during my recovery. I'm still trying to take it easy, but it is tough this time of year. I overdid it on Friday and Saturday finishing some small projects and had to stay in bed all day on Sunday to recover. I'm taking it pretty easy this week by only going to a couple of events and will be in the office for short periods of time this week.
The deadline for bill submissions is this upcoming Friday. Some of the bills I am filing this session deal with looking at the creation of incentives for insurance information cards where people can maintain their records on a card in their wallet to cut down on red tape and time spent on the phone looking for records; giving the local schools more flexibility to allow student absences when the students participate in approved activities and keep their grades up; provisions to restrict a person losing their insurance due to an illness; a restructuring of funeral accounts to allow for easier use during the time when a family is grieving; and looking at restrictions on state agencies and their advertising budgets.
I will also be heavily involved with the budget as I serve on the Appropriations & Budget Committee. We will have to do thorough reviews on the spending practices and make cuts in many areas due to less tax revenue coming in to the state. There is about $600 million in stimulus dollars available for Oklahoma and about the same amount in the Rainy Day fund. We will meet to determine how much will be spent, especially in light of the collections being down well over $1 billion from previous budgets.
Some events I attended recently were the OHCE awards for Grady County, the OKC Retired Firefighters Banquet, the Friends of the Library Spaghetti dinner in Rush Springs, and I spoke to two school groups last week. I also attended the wedding reception for Tom and Holly Foster this weekend and delivered a toast to the new couple. Tom is one of my best friends from high school and I'm very happy for the new couple. A special thanks also goes out the Chickasha High School Young Democrats for volunteering a Saturday night to help out with the Festival of Lights in Chickasha. If you have not been to this in a while, please drive through and check out the great display!
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 joedorman@okhouse.gov at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559 , Rush Springs , OK 73082 and my website is www.joedorman.com on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Joe with the Chickasha High School Young Democrats

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