The 2019 legislative session is officially adjourned. When the session began there was a strong feeling of optimism about what could be accomplished—by the time we concluded our work, it was obvious that those hopes were right on target. This was an excellent session for the citizens of our great state.
We were able to invest additional dollars in our public schools, our colleges and our career-techs. We’ve provided additional investments in health, mental health, public safety, transportation infrastructure, and in criminal justice reform efforts that will ultimately save taxpayer dollars. Educators will receive an additional raise, as will public employees.
All of the agenda goals Senate Republicans set out before the session began have been met, including legislation promoting greater government transparency and accountability, a continued commitment to public education and criminal justice reform.
Although this was just my first session, my experience as a member of the city council, as mayor, chairing the hospital trust, and as a banking CEO and chairman all translated to the daily work of serving District 20. Those experiences really prepared me and helped me hit the ground running from the start.
During this past session, I was principal author of four Senate bills and five House bills, and all of them were supported by both chambers and signed into law by Governor Kevin Stitt.
Among my measures to be signed into law:
- SB 295, requiring all bonds issued by the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to be submitted to the Attorney General for examination and certified as legal obligations of the state. I worked closely with the Attorney General and bond issuers to improve the issuance and public reporting of Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority Bonds.
- SB 388, authorizing certified nurse aides to assist medically-stable patients with the self-administration of regularly scheduled medications upon the request and written informed consent of a patient or a patient’s surrogate.
- SB 556 and SB 558—I worked with our new Secretary of Agriculture to improve identification requirements on animals that have been tested for brucellosis and other diseases. Additionally, we authorized the use of digital tags for official identification purposes.
- HB 2030, providing that a prior felony conviction would not disqualify an individual from obtaining an employee license from the ABLE Commission if the person meets certain qualifications and has not been convicted of a violent crime or a prior felony conviction for an alcohol offense or has been convicted of a sex crime. This bill opens up opportunity for those who have served their time to get back into the workforce, provide for their family and add to our tax base. When we can put them back to work, it will cut down our recidivism rates. I worked with Representative Ty Burns on this measure, and appreciated the opportunity to pass this common-sense criminal justice reform.
- HB 2476, aimed a reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens faced by rural funeral homes. I was honored to have been asked by the Speaker of the House Charles McCall to co-author this bill with him.
I’m extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish this session, and I look forwarded to building on those successes in the 2020 legislative session.
Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to be your voice in the Oklahoma Senate. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.