Last week, the House passed its historic $8.1 billion budget, and the Senate approved it earlier this week. Gov. Stitt signed the budget on Friday morning, putting in place another teacher pay raise, state employee pay raise, new levels of education funding formula, and a first step toward saving for our state’s future.
Among other bills signed by Gov. Stitt this week were several I authored or contributed to, including Senate Bill 170 and Senate Bill 752.
Senate Bill 170 is a comprehensive measure to provide new license plate options for Oklahomans. Typically, dozens of new designs or design requests are included every year. Two plate designs incorporated were ones I helped to contribute. Senator Michael Brooks and I recommended a license plate for the Oklahoma Women Veterans Organization. The plate can be issued to any female veteran of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to show support for the Oklahoma Women Veterans Organization. I also worked with Senator Stephanie Bice on a design request for recipients of the Combat Action Badge, which became part of the larger legislation.
In conjunction with Senator Leewright, the other bill I authored, Senate Bill 752, addresses the issue of workplace violence by updating the electronic harassment and threats language. The bill clarifies that text, sound and images in the form of electronic communication cannot be used to threaten or intimidate an employee or colleague. The bill was requested by the Workplace and Organizational Safety Coalition and is a key component of a series of bills to curb workplace violence and keep people safe at work.
After the Legislature finished its work on Thursday, we passed a resolution to adjourn “sine die” on Friday, May 31 at 5 p.m. We have considered all the bills we expect to hear this year, but we left a window open for next week in the event that we need to come back for whatever reason. The Legislature is required by our constitution to adjourn by 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May; however, we worked to complete our business a week ahead of schedule.
We’ve had a very successful session this year. Bills were passed promoting government transparency, accountability and other conservative principles that will better our state. Now that session has wrapped up, we’ll begin a number of interim studies addressing a variety of issues, such as a cost-of-living adjustment for many state retirees.
There’s always a bit of a learning curve in any new job, but I’m pleased that nine of the bills I authored this session have been signed into law. I look forward to using the knowledge I’ve acquired this year to continue to work hard for the people of District 82.
It is truly an honor to represent the people of District 82. Please reach out to my office about policy questions or about legislation you’d like to see considered next session. Although the Legislature is now in interim and many lawmakers have returned to their districts, I’ll still be frequenting the Capitol and keeping in contact with constituents who reach out. You can contact me at (405) 557-7357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.