Alva Review-Courier -

Murdock's Minutes

 

April 24, 2019



Thursday, April 25, is the deadline for the full Senate to consider House bills that made it through our committees. When we hit our April 11 committee deadline on those bills, there were about 226 House bills awaiting floor votes. By Wednesday afternoon of this past week, we’d approved some 67 House bills, so this week will be pretty intense in terms of floor votes.

I was really happy to win Senate approval for a House bill that I’m principal author for – the measure would extend deer season by one week. This bill only applies to private land, and the limits would remain the same. It simply gives hunters an extra week. I think this bill is good for hunters, but it is also helpful for farmers who deal with crop damage from an overpopulation of deer.

I’m also extremely pleased that we’ve successfully passed a bill to give our County Investments in Roads and Bridges (CIRB) Program $30 million. In recent years when Oklahoma was facing several economic downturns and budget shortfalls, funds were diverted from CIRB to help balance the budget. I’m pleased this measure has been approved – this is an important investment in our county transportation infrastructure.

Speaking of the budget, work continues on the 2020 state budget, which begins this coming July 1. Negotiations between the leadership of the Senate, the House and with the governor’s office are on track. Top priorities for Senate Republicans include investments in education and criminal justice reform and diversion programs.

Legislation that would give the American Legion a state sales tax break is now on its way to the governor for his signature. Other veterans organization, namely Blue Star Mothers and the VFW, have long enjoyed this benefit. The American Legion has been supporting veterans in our state for 100 years. This modest benefit will aid them in that continuing mission.

The full Senate also approved legislation to better protect the rights of crime victims. Last November, Oklahoma voters approved Marsy’s Law, which placed rights for crime victims in our state constitution. These include the right to be informed about what’s happening with the case as it proceeds through the system and the right to have a voice at those proceedings. This legislation included the statutory language needed to enact the constitutional amendment.

Our country and our state have long recognized the rights of the accused – but I believe it is tremendously important to ensure that the rights of crime victims are ensured and protected within our state laws.

This is your State Capitol, and I look forward to welcoming you to the Senate. You can reach me by calling 405.521.5626 or emailing [email protected]

 

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