Session officially began on Monday at noon! Shortly afterward, members of the Senate joined us on the House floor to hear the Governor’s fourth State of the State address.
In his address, the Governor outlined four checkpoints to help Oklahoma become a Top Ten state.
First, he said inspiring hope for all Oklahomans will encourage them to reach higher and work harder in areas including education, health, mental health, work and social relationships.
Second, the Governor emphasized the need to protect Oklahomans and our way of life. He named the need for fairness and safety in the medical marijuana industry, as well as supporting our law enforcement officers across the state.
The Governor’s third checkpoint to becoming a Top Ten state is making Oklahoma the most business-friendly state in the nation. To meet the growing workforce demand, we must ensure common education, higher education and CareerTech work together to make every student college ready or career ready.
In his final checkpoint, Governor Stitt aimed to deliver taxpayers more for their money. Modernizing government agencies and increasing transparency are two points he mentioned, but he also outlined the opportunity to make a generational impact by investing in infrastructure.
Oklahoma was recently named among the Top Ten states for bridge safety, a huge improvement from a decade earlier when we were one of the worst states for bridge safety. This is thanks to a significant investment by the Legislature for infrastructure.
That funding has helped us improve pavement and safety on urban and rural highways, as well as complete several projects to help traffic flow. This year, the Governor requested $13 billion dedicated to transportation over the next 10 years to continue to improve our infrastructure systems.
Throughout the course of this pandemic, the Governor has worked with different state agencies to keep our economy open, to keep people working and earning a living for their families, and to keep kids in the classroom. But I realize that families continue to mourn the effects of this pandemic, including the nearly 14,000 people in our state who have sadly died from COVID.
On Tuesday, a group of my constituents came by my office to visit with me about something very important to them—concerns about abortion and the rights of the unborn. There have been several bills filed this session dealing with this issue, and I am taking a close look at each of these prior to voting on them. I’ve learned that legislation often has unintended consequences, so I always try to consider the potential ramifications of policies.
There is also legislation looking at the responsibility of the man in the situation, which I believe is an important but often overlooked aspect.
I’ve worked in youth ministry for 45 years and have helped many young people facing these difficult situations. I understand that there are no easy answers, but I believe our most vulnerable citizens, our unborn children, deserve protection. I appreciate that my constituents took the time to visit with me on something they care deeply about.
I am currently reading through many bills, coauthoring some and preparing for committees to begin in full next week. I’ve had multiple meetings this week to tweak my bills and will provide details of those once the language is finalized.
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 557-7304 to ask questions about legislation we may be considering.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your state representative!
Rep. John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne Counties.