Monday, May 16, 2011

One More Week!

Legislative leaders negotiated a budget agreement with the Governor last week and came to terms with proposals for redistricting the House and Senate. With these issues addressed, legislators have been encouraged to move their bills through the conference committee process with the expectation that the group could adjourn for the year as soon as this week.

The House officially approved the redistricting plan I wrote about in last week’s update. The plan experienced little opposition and was adopted by a vote of 93-3. It now heads to the Senate for approval.

The Senate has also announced their redistricting plan. The Senate plan will reduce the number of Senate districts which crisscross House District 31. Four of these districts currently divide up Logan County. Logan County will now be placed into Senate District 20. The new Senator for Logan County will be Senator David Myers from Ponca City. This district will also cover all of Noble, Pawnee, and part of Kingfisher Counties. Logan County accounts for over 50% of the population of the new district.

The change will also affect the Edmond legislative delegation; a third Senator, Senator Rob Johnson, will join the group as the Senator for the west side of Edmond. The Senate will vote on their plan this week, and that vote will be followed by House consideration of the plan.

There are a number of state government modernization issues that are still working their way through the conference committee process. It will be my responsibility this week to ensure that these issues don’t get lost in the process and will hopefully be approved and sent to the Governor.

The outstanding modernization issues include the proposal to consolidate five state government agencies, establish a business-friendly licensing one-stop shop, consolidate the state’s information technology infrastructure, create a series of taxpayer transparency review processes, consolidate the state’s payroll processing infrastructure systems, and enact the Governor's proposal to the save significant taxpayer dollars through the use of an electronic payments system for the state’s vendors.

There are many millions of taxpayer dollars of savings at stake with these bills. I hope to have good news to report next week.

This will also be the last week that the House District 31 constituent survey is available. If you have not had a chance to take the survey and you live in House District 31, please visit and let me know what you think about some of the issues the Legislature has considered this year.

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