The Edmond Sun

November 14, 2012

SLIDESHOW: Legislators sworn in at Capitol ceremonies

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

OKLA. CITY — Oklahoma state House and Senate members took the oath of office Wednesday. It was a time for the lawmakers to introduce their families, supporters and friends to the legislative body.

Chief Justice Steven W. Taylor of the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued the oath of office.

“You’ll do great things because you serve the greatest state in the nation,” said Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who presided over the Senate ceremony, which included eight newly elected senators and 16 re-elected Senate members.

“You’ll develop great relationships with great people in this body, not because of title, but because who your colleagues represent,” Lamb continued.

State Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, was chosen by his colleagues in the Senate Republican caucus to serve as Majority Whip. Treat will coordinate with caucus members to advance measures through the legislative process.

“I am proud to be a part of such a great group of men and women who care deeply about their fellow citizens and this tremendous state,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “We face serious challenges and are afforded many unparalleled opportunities. I cannot fathom a group of men and women I would rather go to work with every day to improve the lives of Oklahomans and to put us on a path toward even greater economic liberty and prosperity than the ones I serve with in the Republican caucus.”

State Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, said the state of Oklahoma is blessed to have people who are willing to dedicate their time to serve Oklahoma.

“These people are young, they’re old, but the one thing they have in common is a willingness and a passion to serve the citizens and I’m honored to serve with people of that caliber,” Jolley said.

The Legislature will be moving forward with tax reform, workers compensation and pension reforms, Jolley said.

A priority will be to find a funding mechanism to bring the state medical examiner’s office to the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma, Jolley said. Jolley said he would be fine with paying cash for a new medical examiner’s office or looking at a bond to get started immediately.

“We need to get the process going and not continue to pass the buck,” he said.

Newly elected House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, presided over his first official ceremony.

State Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said he is already developing a working relationship with several of the new House members.

“I’m really impressed that they will bring a lot of new energy, excitement and good ideas to the table,” Murphey said. “And I certainly look forward to involving some of them immediately on the Government Modernization Committee.”

Murphey said that he expects newly elected state Rep. Mike Turner, R-Edmond, to bring a number of innovative approaches to the table. Turner, 25, was elected to represent District House District 82, which takes in an area of northwest Oklahoma City, which includes much of the Deer Creek area.

“I’m very humbled to have the support of my district to that level,” Turner said. “So I’m looking forward to the responsibilities they’ve given me with trust in me.”

Turner said he is excited to put his best foot forward to help Oklahoma by making government more transparent and efficient.

“I’ve always wanted to be a leader in that aspect. That’s not the only area. I’m willing to throw myself head long in any project that comes along my way,” Turner said. “So many of my constituents, as I hear from them, I love that they’re engaged. They just want good stewards of government.”

Other members of the Edmond delegation who were up for re-election this year include Rep. Marian Cooksey, Rep. Randy McDaniel, Rep. Lewis Moore and Rep. Randy Grau.