Sen. Ron Sharp filed legislation Friday to expand the Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act of 2015. Senate Bill 44 strengthens the law to prohibit not just texting while driving but using any kind of hand held device while behind the wheel unless it is with a hands free accessory.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Members of the Senate staff joined Sen. Darcy Jech and his wife, Vicky, to volunteer at the Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City on Thursday, November 10th. The group of nearly 40 volunteers helped pack more than 8,000 pounds of food that will provide almost 2,500 backpacks filled with the equivalent of nearly 7,000 meals for Oklahoma children.
The event was part of the annual State Charitable Campaign (SCC), with the Senate and staff raising more than $6,400 to help feed Oklahoma families that struggle to make ends meet.read more.
State Sen. Tom Dugger said he’s looking forward to the upcoming legislative session. The Stillwater Republican said his first official votes will come during the Senate’s organizational day on January 3, 2017, when members officially elect their leadership for the next two years and adopt rules for conducting legislative business.read more.
Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks on Monday said committee assignments for members of his caucus had been finalized. Each member will serve on multiple committees as well as serving on the Senate Appropriations Committee during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Senator Mark Allen has been appointed to chair the Senate Transportation committee by incoming Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz. Allen was also recently elected to serve in a leadership role as Majority Whip and was appointed as Sportsman’s Caucus Chairman by the Pro Tem’s office.read more.
Sen. AJ Griffin has filed legislation modifying how the State Department of Health will go about providing information on pre/postnatal services available through both public and private agencies. The Health Department will still be in charge of making that information available on its website, however, new language contained in Senate Bill 30 calls for the agency to publicize that information through social media rather than placing signs in most public restrooms.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has honored State Sen. Roger Thompson for his efforts in the Legislature to support the crime investigation agency. OSBI Director Stan Florence presented Thompson with the 2016 OSBI Director’s Award during a ceremony held in Norman on December 13.
Thompson said he was humbled that his efforts were honored by the agency.read more.
Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, issued the following statement Tuesday on statutory language she authored aimed at helping provide information to Oklahoma women on a range of public and private sector services available as an alternative to abortion and to improve the health and well-being of unborn and newborn babies. That information would be compiled by the State Department of Health and made available through its website, with notification of that information and website link posted in public restrooms.read more.
Sen. Julie Daniels has been named to several key committees for the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions.
Daniels will serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee; Judiciary; Business Commerce and Tourism; General Government; and the Subcommittee on Human Services.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Newly elected state Senator Micheal Bergstrom was selected this week to serve on several Senate standing committees and two appropriations subcommittees for the upcoming first session of the 56th state legislature. Bergstrom, who worked for years as a teacher before being elected last month to serve in the state Senate, will serve on the Education committee, as well as the Business, Commerce and Tourism committee. He was also tapped by Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Mike Schulz to serve on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance as well as the Appropriationsread more.
Sen. Stephanie Bice has been picked for another leadership position in the State Senate—for the next two years, she will be the chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation. Bice was hand-picked to serve as chair by incoming Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz. Bice was also recently chosen by Senate Republican Caucus to serve as Assistant Majority Floor Leader.read more.
Sen. James Leewright has been named vice chair of the Senate’s committee on Business, Commerce and Tourism for the 56th Legislature. Leewright, a former state representative, was the only new member of the Senate chosen for a vice chairmanship by incoming President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Senator Marty Quinn was selected this week to serve as Vice-Chair of the Senate Retirement and Insurance committee of the 56th legislature. The Senate Retirement and Insurance committee is currently comprised of eight Senators.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve on this standing Senate committee, as retirement and insurance are two areas of specific concern for many in our state” said Quinn, R- Claremore. “I’m ready to get to work and focus on the issues facing Oklahoma as we seek long-term solutions and ways to prosper and move our state forward.”read more.
Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Mike Schulz on Thursday announced his appointment of Sen. AJ Griffin as chair of the Senate Rural Caucus.
The Rural Caucus chair is a member of Senate Leadership. Sen. Ron Justice, who left the Senate in 2016 due to term limits, served as chair of the Rural Caucus for 12 years.
Sen. Rob Standridge has been chosen to chair the Senate Subcommittee on Health, as well as serving as vice chair of the Committee on Health and Human Services. Standridge was named to those positions by incoming Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz. He was also recently chosen by Senate Republican Caucus to serve as Majority Whip.read more.
Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Mike Schulz on Wednesday announced committee assignments for Republican members of the Oklahoma State Senate.
Republicans hold 42 seats in the 48-seat Senate, the largest majority held by either party since 1965, when the Senate went from 44 seats to 48.read more.
Senator Greg Treat, the Majority Floor Leader of the Oklahoma State Senate, on Wednesday commented on reports that President-elect Donald Trump will select Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
Senate President Pro Tempore-Designate Mike Schulz on Tuesday announced his appointments of chairs and vice-chairs of Senate standing committees and appropriations subcommittees for the 56th Legislature.read more.
Sen. Ron Sharp has filed legislation for the upcoming legislative session to boost teacher pay. Senate Bill 8 would modify the minimum salary schedule beginning with the 2017-2018 school year to allow for a $5,000 increase in salary and/or benefits.
Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Mike Schulz on Thursday announced the members of his leadership staff. These individuals serve the office of the President Pro Tempore and the members of the Majority Caucus.
Ashley Kehl will serve as chief of staff, replacing Jonathan Nichols who is leaving the Pro Tempore’s office after four years in that position to pursue another opportunity.read more.