Articles written by Senator Roland Pederson


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  • Messy but transparent budget process

    Senator Roland Pederson|May 29, 2024

    This week is the last week of regular Session, and Sine Die Adjournment is scheduled for May 31, 2024. Midweek, budget negotiations ground to a halt, but as of Wednesday, the governor, Senate leadership, and House of Representatives leadership agreed on the budget. This is good news as we are near the deadline for our only required constitutional session obligation, to pass a budget. We are applauding the transparent process that got a little messy at times over the overview of budget numbers....

  • Transparent process for budget negotiations

    Senator Roland Pederson|May 22, 2024

    This past week has moved slowly with the 2024 Budget Summit negotiations between the governor, the House of Representatives leadership, and the Senate leadership. The transparent approach has allowed all to view these negotiations and to see how the citizens of Oklahoma’s tax money is projected to be spent. On March 19, the Senate released its proposed budget in Senate Resolution 31, which was nearly three weeks before the House openly released its proposed numbers. As a result, budget n...

  • Senate Review Northwest Oklahomans included in Governor's Executive Nominations

    Senator Roland Pederson|May 15, 2024

    Over the last few weeks, we have been hosting the Governor’s Executive Nominations. These positions are nominations that must be vetted through the Senate before they can be appointed. Those nominated from our district include Peter Dillingham from Enid to the State Board of Career and Technology Education, Deirdre Gurry from Enid to Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority, Robert Stallings Jr. from Enid to Oklahoma Water Resources Board, and Jefferson Wilber from Cherokee to the Air Q...

  • Emergency drought commission, tuition bills signed

    Senator Roland Pederson|May 8, 2024

    Last week was quiet for the Senate except for conference committee work. One of my bills, HB2282, must go through the Conference Committee to restore the title. Once this occurs, then it will head to the governor’s desk for his signature. Gov. Stitt signed HB3182, my Emergency Drought Commission bill. This bill establishes a standing committee instead of waiting for an emergency order or executive order to be called by the Governor. The committee is made up of the secretary of the Oklahoma D...

  • 4-H, ag, military kids recognized in busy week at the Capitol

    Senator Roland Pederson|Apr 24, 2024

    Last week started with “Purple Up! For Military Kids Day.” Representative Dobrinski and I authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 (SCR20), which designates April 15 as Purple Up! For Military Kids Day in Oklahoma. The month was established in 1986 by former United States Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger to recognize the sacrifices made by military families and the important role military children play in the armed forces community. It was an honor to recognize members from all four milita...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Apr 24, 2024

    Last week started with “Purple Up! For Military Kids Day.” Representative Dobrinski and I authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 (SCR20), which designates April 15 as Purple Up! For Military Kids Day in Oklahoma. The month was established in 1986 by former United States Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger to recognize the sacrifices made by military families and the important role military children play in the armed forces community. It was an honor to recognize members from all four milita...

  • Pederson receives OKCare Legislator of the Year

    Senator Roland Pederson|Apr 3, 2024

    This past week was relatively quiet here at the Capitol. Committee work has begun to hear nearly 400 bills that the House sent over for consideration. I presented one bill in the Agriculture Committee, HB3822, which dedicates the third full week of April as "Healthy Soils Week." This bill recognizes the importance of healthy soil and the important work done by Oklahoma farmers. I have a few more bills to get across the finish line this session. Stay tuned for those updates. OYE (Oklahoma Youth...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Apr 3, 2024

    This past week was relatively quiet here at the Capitol. Committee work has begun to hear nearly 400 bills that the House sent over for consideration. I presented one bill in the Agriculture Committee, HB3822, which dedicates the third full week of April as “Healthy Soils Week.” This bill recognizes the importance of healthy soil and the important work done by Oklahoma farmers. I have a few more bills to get across the finish line this session. Stay tuned for those updates. OYE (Oklahoma Youth E...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Mar 20, 2024

    This past week was the deadline week for bills to be heard on the chamber of origin floor, which called for longer session days. Bills that passed off the chamber of origin will now be passed to the opposite chamber for consideration. An interesting development took place on deadline day in the Senate. Some members’ bills were not being heard so they staged a filibuster so the time would run out before the chosen bills were heard. It resulted in a very late night hearing bills. Fortunately, m...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Mar 13, 2024

    Session is in full swing, and we have heard over 100 bills during this session. Most of our committee work has been completed for the senate bills for consideration, except those with a fiscal impact for the state. Those bills must go through the Appropriations Committee to be considered. This week, Molly Carpenter, a senior at Hillsdale Christian High School, paged for me. She is planning to attend John Brown University after graduation. Her plans include majoring in business entrepreneurship...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Mar 6, 2024

    This week was deadline week for all bills assigned to a committee to be heard in the chamber of origin. This week has kept me busy listening to legislation in Appropriations Subcommittees on Select Agencies, Public Safety, and Tourism and Wildlife. Once heard in committee and passed by the majority of committee members, bills are eligible to be heard on the floor. On Monday, the Hemophilia Foundation held their Day at the Hill. This important organization serves the nearly 1,000 Oklahomans and...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Feb 28, 2024

    It has been another busy week here at the Capitol. There has been lots of action with legislation and visiting groups from across the state and our district. This week, I was fortunate to have two legislative pages for the week, Macguire Arnold and Sterling Stewart. Macguire is a student at Oklahoma Bible Academy and lives in Enid. After high school, he plans to attend OSU and seek a degree in Veterinary Medicine. He plans to focus on large animal studies and work as a veterinarian. Sterling is...

  • Industrial hemp bill passes out of committee

    Senator Roland Pederson|Feb 21, 2024

    We have made it through week two of session, and we are off to a great start. I had the opportunity to pass two bills through committee this week including SB 1422, which creates the Industrial Hemp Task Force and passed out of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Also, SB 1209 regarding Honorary Consul Vanity Plates, passed out of the Aeronautics and Transportation Committee and was then approved on the Senate Floor. SB 1209 is now headed to the House for consideration. SB 1422 will establish a task...

  • Senate committees meet to start work on 800-plus bills

    Senator Roland Pederson|Feb 14, 2024

    The first week of session is behind us, and it appears to be off to a good start. The Governor's State of the State address held few surprises. Hopefully the session will be less contentious than it was last year. However, great things were accomplished last session especially in all levels of education. The hope now is for even greater outcomes for all students in Oklahoma. We are running two sessions as the legislative season begins. The Special Session to consider tax cuts is running...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Jan 24, 2024

    Session will begin in two weeks on Feb. 5. Therefore, we were surprised by the governor’s last-minute call for a special session to start on Jan. 29, seeking a .25% reduction in the personal income tax. This is unnecessary, as the Senate and House have been working on various tax reform plans to be considered this year. Special session costs taxpayers additional money, but we’re constitutionally bound to answer his call to convene in special session. This week, we wrapped up bill filing, int...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Jan 10, 2024

    The countdown is on as we get ready for session. More than 350 Senate bills have been filed with more to come. Our appropriations subcommittees are meeting with dozens of state agencies in the next two weeks to review their budget requests. Schedules for these meeting are available on the Senate website, and they’ll be broadcast live online as well if you’d like to tune in. So far, I’ve filed four bills, including one that would make assaulting a municipal, county, or state official on the j...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Dec 13, 2023

    Session is two months away, and we’ve been busy with budget work and getting our bills ready. Around 1,000 bills were requested by Friday’s deadline. Staff will be researching and drafting these in the coming weeks and have until Jan. 18 to get them filed. I’m working on around a dozen Senate bills, which I’ll share about as I get them filed. Senate leadership rolled out a new budget plan last week to help open up the process, provide all legislators and the public more time to review budget...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Dec 13, 2023

    Session is two months away, and we've been busy with budget work and getting our bills ready. Around 1,000 bills were requested by Friday's deadline. Staff will be researching and drafting these in the coming weeks and have until Jan. 18 to get them filed. I'm working on around a dozen Senate bills, which I'll share about as I get them filed. Senate leadership rolled out a new budget plan last week to help open up the process, provide all legislators and the public more time to review budget...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Nov 1, 2023

    Work has been steady at the Capitol as we continue through the remaining interim studies before the Nov. 3 deadline. This past week, we had two studies in our Tourism and Wildlife Committee of which I am vice chairman. First, we heard from wildlife experts about why the state's turkey population has been steadily declining in recent years and steps we can take to reverse the trend, which is happening nationwide. Experts attributed the decline to many factors; however, weather and uncontrolled...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Oct 11, 2023

    Earlier this week, the Legislature convened in special session following the governor’s call for tax fairness, a plan to eliminate the personal income tax, and budget transparency. While both chambers strongly support tax reform, this is a complicated issue. Oklahoma’s economy has been extremely strong in recent years, but current federal administration policies are a contributing inflation factor affecting individuals as well as agencies. Just as Oklahoma families are feeling the pinch in their...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Sep 20, 2023

    It has been great spending time back in the district during the interim. My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary recently and were treated to a wonderful reception by our daughters and their families. We greatly enjoyed getting to celebrate this milestone with our closest family and friends and can’t thank them enough for putting this together for us. Many across the area spent countless hours preparing their animals, produce, crafts and other projects to compete in the five county...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Jul 19, 2023

    The last few weeks in the district have been full of events, and I've really enjoyed the opportunity to visit with many of you. I enjoyed celebrating Independence Day with family and friends, especially participating in the Blackwell Fourth of July parade with my granddaughter, Abby. I also attended the Carmen 5th of July celebration, which was a fantastic show and a great turn out for the community. Aside from the festivities, fireworks, vendors and entertainment, this celebration also offered...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Jul 5, 2023

    On June 26, the Senate convened to consider overriding the governor’s veto of a bill related to extending tribal compacts for another year. This override failed by one vote. However, a concurrent resolution was passed on Monday to extend the special session until July 31, which will allow us to have more time to reconsider overriding the vetoes. The House already overrode one veto, which the Senate has not yet taken up. I anticipate we’ll return at some point in July to consider these mea...

  • SB 706, now law, will still help Oklahoma kids establish permanency

    Senator Roland Pederson|Jun 25, 2023

    I previously shared the provisions of Senate Bill 706, and I am happy to report that the governor has signed this legislation into law. After going through the legislative process, the final version of this bill looks a little different from the original, but it will still help Oklahoma children establish permanency in a more efficient manner. The new law requires a jury trial for parental rights termination proceedings to have a scheduling order issued within 30 days of the demand for a trial....

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|Jun 7, 2023

    Now that the legislative session has concluded, I have been able to spend much more time in the district. On Memorial Day, I was honored to be a part of a ceremony at the Woodring Wall of Honor in Enid. The ceremony recognized veterans and fallen soldiers, including Darren Collins and Robert Swartz. I was proud to present their families with citations to recognize their loved ones’ service and their ultimate sacrifice. During the ceremony, one of my constituents, RD Lawrence, was recognized f...

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