capital greetings Feb. 12, 2009

03/11/09 | by Brian | Categories: Welcome
Even though we are deep in Committee work, Politics was the Order of the Day. A Representative from Lawton, who is aspiring to a higher office, authored a Resolution to urge the President of the United States to refrain from sending detainees from Guantanamo Bay to any of the three Federal Correctional facilities in the State of Oklahoma. Everyone drew up sides and the debate was on. This Resolution would not have been filed if this issue was not one of the top three polling issues in the State. I chose to go to my office and work on issues for the people of my District. I secured a spot on the County Commissioners Agenda next Tuesday, for Reverend David Travis from Red Oak, to present a proposal for a Ten Commandment Monument for the Courthouse lawn. I worked on a presentation to Representative Don Armes, Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Economic Development, for House Bill 1439, which is my Water Basin of Origin Protection Act. This bill will give local control of the water basin to the people that live in that basin. The third item I worked on, while the house was still playing politics, was my presentation to the Transportation Committee, a bill renaming Highway 63 from Kiowa to Pittsburg, the Carsyn Kay Hackler Memorial Highway. After we adjourned the House, I presented this bill to the Committee. I felt somewhat awkward because normally this isn?t done for someone who passed away so young. As we know, Carsyn was exceptional! After I presented this, the Committee passed it unanimously. There was not a dry eye in the room. It was on a joint bill with two passed individuals from Representative Paul Roan?s district. Representative Roan told me he was proud Carsyn?s bill was included with his. We have so many pressing issues before the House, I could write three pages on the subject, but I want you to know I believe you sent me here to represent you and District 17 concerns, and not play politics. The following came by the Capitol this week: From Eastern Oklahoma State College, Dr. Stephen Smith, President, Dr. Sally Davis, Dean of Students, Ann Owens, Foundation Director, Leah McLaughlin, Vice President of Student Affairs, Nikki Heath, Director of McAlester Campus, Student Government Officers, and Presidential Scholars. Also visiting: Latimer County Commissioner Roy Alford; Pittsburg County Assessor Jim Kelley, Deputy Cathy Haynes and Jolynn Ranallo; Steve Butcher from McAlester; Dr. Doug Auld, McAlester; Fred Probis, McAlester; and from Kiamichi Technology Center, Shelley Free and Ron DeGiacomo. I am always glad you come by. God Bless all and come see me!

Feb. 5, 2009

03/11/09 | by Brian | Categories: Welcome
Good Day folks, it?s that time of year when the wind comes whipping down the Oklahoma plains, and so does a huge magnitude of bills from about 150 Legislators. I will attempt to keep you up to date on what is taking place in the House of Representatives. First, I will explain the bills I have filed, three of which are water bills. The first is the Water Basin of Origin Protection Act. This will give local control of the 19 water drainage basins to the people who live in these basins. The second bill will extend the moratorium on the sale of water out of state, which will expire in November of this year. The third bill will require the State of Oklahoma to pay off Lake Sardis; this is the second year I have filed this bill. I have also filed the following bills: A bill to extend the limits of Oklahoma Promise (OHLAP) to allow children of all certified Oklahoma teachers to receive free tuition without any financial cap; and A bill to increase the financial cap on Insure Oklahoma so that more Oklahomans can receive affordable Health Insurance; and A bill to extend the Oklahoma Limitation of Liability for Farming and Ranching Act. In a nutshell this will limit the liability to Farmers and Ranchers who lease their land for hunting and fishing; and The final bill will give a 30 day grace period for the expiration of a Driver?s License. This bill will eliminate the need to provide a birth certificate or proof that you are an Oklahoma citizen during this grace period. This is a common sense piece of legislation. I need to give the credit to Barney Rosso of Hartshorne who asked me to carry this bill. This week in Committee, Nick?s Law, a much needed Autism Bill, was killed and will not be eligible to be re-introduced for two years. This bill would have mandated insurance companies to cover autism. It is important to know that early intervention is of paramount importance. Parents of autistic children need assistance from their insurance companies. It would have increased our insurance premiums less than one percent. It is a sad case that the insurance lobby prevailed over the people of Oklahoma. I would like to personally thank each of you for the honor to serve you. As I begin my second term, I still feel a huge sense of responsibility serving in the House of Representatives. I continue to put my all into representing each of you. As I give you my weekly report, I will try not to hang my hat on politics. I represent Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, but you need to realize that it is mostly about Politics! Visiting the Capitol this week: Mayor Steve Binlee and Chester Dennis of Wilburton, Jim Kelley of McAlester, David O. Travis of Red Oak, Len Etchison and Tony Randel of Quinton. Thank each of you for the visit and come by anytime. My office has moved to the fifth floor, Room 504. On a special note, on Tuesday night at approximately 11:30 p.m., I made an emergency run to my Legislative Assistant?s farm in McLoud, OK, in a breech calving. It goes to show that you can send a country boy to the City, but you can?t keep him out of the country! Until next time, God Bless!

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


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