The 2015 legislative session is now underway at the Capitol. While we had one organizational day in January to elect leadership and adopt rules, the regular work of the session actually begins on the first Monday in February. We received the Governor’s State of the State Address and Executive Budget on Monday, and now we will turn our attention toward committee work on the bills introduced in the Senate.
For the next two years, I will be serving as Vice Chair of two Senate committees. The President Pro Tem of the Senate appointed me to serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Energy Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Both of these areas of government are of critical importance not only to the people of District 20, but to our entire state.
Although Agriculture, the aerospace industry, and other areas of business are vital to us all, Oklahoma has always been known as an energy state. We have been blessed with an abundance of natural resources that have buffered our state during some of the most devastating economic periods of our nation’s history. The oil patch kept Oklahoma from even worse financial devastation than it would have experienced during the Great Depression. Our energy sector also shielded us from even worse conditions in the Great Recession just a few short years ago.
In terms of vital core services of the state, health and mental health services are extremely important to citizens as we work to improve health outcomes in our state, which will reduce costs and improve quality of life. At the same time, we are always faced with greater needs than available resources. That will especially be true this year as we search for ways to create additional efficiencies to help us get the most from every available dollar.
During the 55th Legislature, I will also serve on the Standing Committee on Health and Human Services, Judiciary, Rules, and on the Full Appropriations Committee. Additionally, I was chosen to serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus.
Please remember that it has never been easier to follow the work being done here in the Senate. Through our website, at www.oksenate.gov, you can download committee meeting notices, track legislation, look at the daily floor agenda, or view streaming video from all of our committee rooms and from the chamber. This is a great way to learn more about the issues you may be concerned about, and to become familiar with others throughout the 2015 session.
As always, please feel free to contact my Capitol office with any questions or concerns you may have about legislation or other issues impacting our state at 405.521.5628 or at email@example.com.