Senate Review


I apologize for not having a column last week. I was under the weather, and not rainy weather.

Although many areas of the state have received rain, I have been continually monitoring the drought conditions in our area. With little to no rain, our producers are being put in incredibly difficult situations. Wheat crops are currently being hit the hardest, with much of Oklahoma’s crop being in poor condition. If you are still in need of drought assistance, I recommend reaching out to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry at 405-521-3864 or contacting your county Farm Service Agency or Conservation District offices to see what resources may be available to you.

I’d also like to send condolences to the family of Cody Dotson. Cody was recently killed in a tragic farm accident, and he’ll be deeply missed in the Pioneer community. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and two children and other family, friends and peers as they navigate this challenging loss.

Despite the hardships many in our area are currently facing, this is a very exciting time for many in northwest Oklahoma. Northern Oklahoma College, Northwestern Oklahoma State University and our local high schools have held graduation ceremonies to honor students for their academic achievement and accomplishments. This is a pivotal time for young adults as they begin further educational pursuits or start their careers. I’d like to congratulate each of them on reaching this milestone and wish them all the best of luck in their new endeavors. I look forward to seeing the impact they will have as the future leaders of our communities and state.

Here at the Capitol, a historic education package was just announced by state leaders. Once signed into law, the latest plan will invest $500 million in the education funding formula and will provide a $625 million recurring investment into public education. Under this plan, teacher pay raises range from $3,000 to $6,000, depending on years of service. Additional funds have been allotted for a three-year literacy program, a pilot program for school safety and security, and the Redbud Fund, which benefits rural schools that don’t have the same ad valorem tax collections as other districts. In addition, a school choice investment of $150 million will be included.

As we near the constitutional end of the session, we are continuing to work on bills that have been sent to conference committee, including some of my own measures. A group of conferees will now work on compromise legislation in a final effort to get the bills through the legislative process this year. In the Senate, we are also still working on approving executive nominations to various state boards and positions.

We must adjourn on May 26 at 5 p.m., meaning we now have less than two weeks left in the session. I’ll continue to update you as we finish up this year’s legislative work. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your concerns or questions. You can reach my office at 405-521-5630 or [email protected].


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