The Legislature finished business last Thursday, but we officially adjourned “sine die” on Friday, May 31 at 5 p.m. We’ve had a very successful session and passed bills covering everything from education to government transparency to nursing home funding.
Last week, the Governor officially signed the historic $8.1 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020. After signing the budget on Friday morning, he put in place another teacher pay raise, state employee pay raise, new levels of education funding formula, and a first step toward saving for our state’s future.
Now that we’re in interim, I’m glad to be able to spend more time in District 31. I hope to visit with you out and about at a community event soon!
The Legislature is set to begin interim studies in a few months. Interim studies are detailed studies of policy issues that often address areas of legislation that failed to pass in previous sessions or is worthy of more in-depth consideration. These studies are usually held August through November at the Capitol and can meet anywhere from just one hour or for several months of weekly meetings. Local and national experts are often invited to testify at meetings, and the information brought forward is used to guide future legislation.
I have already filed an interim study request to examine the impact of HB2009 and HB1100. I filed both bills this year to address different areas of criminal justice reform, but they were stalled in the legislative process due to some concerns from lawmakers. An interim study on these bills and on criminal justice reform will help answer any questions.
Over the last few weeks, much of Oklahoma has experienced severe storms. Although Central Oklahoma has avoided the heavy flooding so far, we have seen numerous tornados recently. We’re not out of storm season quite yet, though, so please continue to keep an eye on the weather and be cautious.
The OK Insurance Dept. is encouraging anyone seeking nonemergency disaster or health and human service information to call 211, which is open 24 hours a day. You can also report property damage at damage.ok.gov. The information they receive local and state emergency managers better coordinate response and recovery efforts.
With my first session in the rearview mirror, I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned about the legislative process this year and I’m excited to use the knowledge and skillset I’ve gained this year to continue to serve District 31!