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April 14,2011

05/06/11 | by Brian | Categories: Welcome

     Rumors are we may be adjouning around the middle of May.  If that?s the case, we need to complete a budget.  The last two years we have been bailed out of a budget crunch by federal stimulus money and the Rainy Day Fund.  Since those revenues are gone, we will need other solutions.  We are told that plans are underway for at least a $200 million bond package to help bail us out.  You know I am not a financial genius, but I?m smart enough to know that you can?t borrow yourself out of debt.

             One of the best bills filed this session that passed out of committee but was not heard on the floor is HB 1235 by Rep. Ben Sherrer (D-Pryor), which would make pseudoephedrine tablets a Schedule III drug.  This would severely restrict the amount of this drug a person would be allowed to have in his/her possession.  We all know that pseudoephedrine is used to produce methamphetamine.  From 1993 to 2004, importation and manufacture of pseudoephedrine has increased 12,000 per cent.  With the adoption of this type of legislation in Mississippi, meth labs decreased by 58% in the first eight months.  Pharmaceutical money kept it off the House floor here in Oklahoma this year.  This is not what is good for Oklahoma.

             I want to report back to you and let you know how impressed I was with the responses to my survey questions I proposed in both newspapers and letters sent by my office.  The results from you, the people, are:  abolish daylight savings time ? 19-1 in favor; guns on campus ? 12-1 against; open carry of Guns, 8-1 against; giving the Governor power to appoint elected positions of State Treasurer, Labor Commissioner, Superintendent of Public Education, and Corporation Commissioners, almost unanimous against (80-1).  I truly appreciate the responses.

             The last couple of weeks I haven?t reported on many bills passing off the House floor because we are back in the ?committee cycle,? considering Senate bills in House committees.  When we have passed bills, they really haven?t been ones with much substance.  The next two weeks will be deadline weeks to clear all Senate bills off the House floor as well as House bills off the Senate floor.

             As you are aware, the Governor signed a bill taking away a teacher?s due process, and we passed a bill to grade schools on an A, B, C, D, F formula; there are a host of other education bills that are all a part of the ?Florida Plan.?  Our state leaders think that we need to pattern Oklahoma?s education plan after Florida.  Ironically, over the last several years, Oklahoma students score higher on ACT tests than Florida.  Also, Florida spends $1,700 more per child in the classroom than Oklahoma, but there is no mention of additional funding for our schools ? talk about hypocrisy!

             This week we celebrated the 45th Infantry Appreciation Day in a Joint Session with the Senate.  Mostly ceremonial in past years, the tribute seemed more poignant this year since 3300 of our guardsmen have been activated for overseas duty.  There was a marked absence of Guardsmen in the gallery; however, there were quite a few family members present.  We all need to pray for their safe return.

             Some of the visitors here at the Capitol this week were:  Cathryn Tucker and Christine Sauro, celebrating Library Day; and Jennifer Clark, one of our Advocates for Kids.  Also coming by were Karen Fisher and Amy Cable from CASA of SE Oklahoma.  Thanks for stopping by the office. 

             Phillipians 3:17

 

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Weekly update from Oklahoma City on the status of Bills in the House.

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