Rep. Duel: Honoring Oklahoma’s Veterans

We had a joint session this week to honor Oklahoma’s veterans of the Armed Forces. Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell and the Senate joined us on the House floor.

Speaker McCall spoke to us about the importance of supporting our veterans. He highlighted how we must honor the commitment and courage of all the Oklahoma veterans across the country and around the world.

Now that the major policy deadline has passed, the House is starting to focus on finalizing the state budget for Fiscal Year 2024, which begins July 1.

The House has second-read several bills scheduled for our Joint Committee on Appropriations & Budget. We have a record amount of about $12.6 billion to appropriate, but we still have to negotiate where this money goes, how much we’ll leave in state savings, and how much we will return to taxpayers in the form of tax relief.

Over the next few weeks, the Appropriations & Budget chairs and subcommittee chairs, along with fiscal staff, will work together while negotiating with the Senate and governor’s office. Accomplishing a balanced budget is the one thing we are constitutionally required to do as a Legislature each year. I plan to keep you updated as the House works through the budget.

Now, for exciting news, an Oklahoma educator made national news when she was named National Teacher of the Year for 2023. This is the first time Oklahoma has had a national winner since 1964.

Rebecka Peterson is a math teacher; her classes ranged from Intermediate Algebra to Advanced Placement Calculus at Union High School for the past 11 years. She was named Oklahoma Teacher of the Year before being named a finalist for the national award last month.

Rebecka will spend a year as an ambassador for students and teachers, traveling nationwide to encourage and attract more people to teach.

Congratulations, Rebecka, for your dedication, hard work, and innovative teaching methods that have set you apart as an outstanding educator, and your impact on your students’ lives is undoubtedly immeasurable.

I am thankful and honored that the constituents of House District 31 have entrusted me with the responsibility of serving in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns at 405-557-7350 or


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