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Articles written by State Rep. Carl Newton

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Carl's Capitol Comments

I’ve been handed 18 Senate bills to present in the House. Six of these I’ve given to two freshman members. This will lighten my load, but it also will help these members gain some experience in presenting bills in committee and navigating the...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

By the time you read this, the deadline for House bills to have passed the House floor will have passed. We considered 242 bills or resolutions last week and advanced 416 to the state Senate. We’ll take a brief pause as staff on both sides of the...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

This past week was an incredibly busy one on the House floor. We heard an average of between 50 and 60 bills per day. We still have about 300 bills eligible for consideration before the March 11 deadline for House bills to be passed in the House...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

The House of Representatives finished hearing bills in committee this past week. The next two weeks will be devoted to hearing bills on the House floor. Of the 1,987 House bills and joint resolutions introduced this year, only 503, or 25%, made it...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

Well, last week was one for the record books for most of Oklahoma. Haven’t seen snow and ice like that in a good long while, if ever. Here in the district, I received a number of reports about ranchers who had calving problems. I’m passing on...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

The Legislature last week passed the first bill of the session, and the governor already signed it into law. Senate Bill 1301 reinstates temporary modifications to the Open Meetings Act allowing once again for virtual meetings among state agencies,...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

Normally, I would be writing about the Legislature, but this week I want to focus on something very heavy on my heart – the tragic house fire that claimed the lives of four people in Waynoka, two of them firefighters. This was such a rare tragic...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

By the time you read this, the first session of the 58th Legislature will be underway. The governor starts the session each year with the State of the State address. This outlines the governor’s priorities and budget for the coming year. While...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

This past week, I and several other representatives hosted a public meeting in Woodward to discuss details of the redistricting process. Every 10 years, the Legislature is constitutionally required to redraw legislative and congressional district...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments: Take heart

This may be a very different Christmas this year for many who are choosing to stay away from family gatherings because of the threat of illness. I know that may cause some feelings of loneliness or depression or even despair. But I want you to be...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

State Question 814 will be on the Nov. 3 statewide ballot. If approved, it would result in an increase in money the Legislature receives annually from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, or TSET. The additional money could then be spent to help...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments State Question 805 would change 'nonviolent' offender sentencing

State Question 805 will be on the Nov. 3 statewide ballot. I’m sharing some information about the question so you’ll be better informed when you get to the voting booth. This question would change the Oklahoma Constitution to prohibit the use of...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

The speaker of the House recently announced that for the first time all House members will serve on a redistricting committee when it comes time to redraw our legislative districts following the results of this year’s census. This means as...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments We can't afford for you to not fill out the census

I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone to please fill out the census. Federal money follows census counts. If we don’t get an accurate count of where our people live, we lose money to other counties and other states. We cannot afford to let t...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections recently sent state legislators notice of a plan the department has drafted to responsibly bring its costs in line with current fiscal year appropriations. The Department of Corrections did not make any cuts to...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments: Remember why we celebrate

As we approach the Fourth of July holiday, I’m reminded anew of the love I have for the United States of America and the desire I have for all citizens of our great nation to appreciate our country and remain loyal to its cause. The level of...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments Vote on June 30

Oklahomans have a statewide election coming up on June 30 in which they will be asked to vote on primary candidates for statewide legislative and U.S. Congressional seats, a state question and county and municipal special elections. I hope that every...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

Oklahoma voters on June 30 will be asked to vote yes or no on State Question 802, which seeks to add a new article to the Oklahoma Constitution to expand eligibility for Oklahoma’s Medicaid program to include low-income, able-bodied adults. A yes v...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments: Instead of violence, respond in love

I try to keep you updated on the events at the Capitol and legislation that affects your lives. In the past few weeks our nation, states and communities have been saddened by the unjust death of George Floyd. The death of Mr. Floyd as evidenced by...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments 167 laws passed

The second session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature is a wrap. With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the Capitol and much of the state for about a month and a half, we ended up passing considerably fewer bills than during a normal session. We...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments: FY21 budget only 3% less than FY20; misconceptions addressed

The House and Senate both approved by overwhelming majorities a state appropriations’ bill for Fiscal Year 2021 in early May that was reduced only 3% from FY20. This was after the Equalization Board estimated a $1.4 billion, or 17%, decrease in rev...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

One of the first things the Legislature will tackle when it returns to session May 4 is the budget for Fiscal Year 2021. When the state Board of Equalization met in February, it certified $8.244 billion for the Legislature to appropriate for FY21....

 

Carl's Capitol Comments: The key to a smart reopening: personal responsibility

I know the governor announced a three-phase plan last week to reopen Oklahoma churches and businesses, and sports and entertainment venues. We need to get our economy restarted but also be smart in doing so. I think the most important part of making... Full story

 

Carl's Capitol Comments

It’s been a difficult month having to miss many of the normal gatherings that are part of our lives here in northwest Oklahoma, including church and chamber gatherings. I’m thankful, however, that we’ve seen fewer cases of COVID-19 than many...

 

Carl's Capitol Comments: Legislators give Stitt broad authority to centralize services

I know this Easter must have been much different for everyone not being able to meet at church or in large family gatherings. Still, this Easter was very special because it is the true picture of love in sacrificial offering that our Lord Jesus Chris...

 

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