Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson announced the assignment of e chairpersons and vice chairpersons for standing committees for the 50th Oklahoma Legislature Friday.
With 15 new members, more incoming Senators will be called on to serve in committee leadership roles than ever before, Hobson said, and the role of senior members will be more important over the next two years than at any time in history.
All total 21 Senate committees and subcommittees will have new chairpersons when the Legislature convenes again in February.
“From the Dean of the Legislature to our newest members, I believe we have assembled a talented group to lead the committee process in the Senate. With the advent of term limits we are entering a new era.
New members will be called on to do more early in their career than at anytime in my 26 years at the Capitol. Conversely, our senior Senators will be asked to mentor our freshmen and help them get up to speed quickly,” said Hobson, D-Lexington.
Senator Gilmer Capps, D-Snyder, will continue to chair the Aerospace and Technology Committee, which will be expanded to include Communications. Capps, who will also continue to serve as an Assistant Majority Floor Leader, is the dean of the Legislature having been first elected to the Senate in 1970. Senator Daisy Lawler, D-Commanche, will be the vice chair of the committee.
Senator Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, will continue to serve as chairman of the Appropriations Committee with Senator Johnnie Crutchfield, D-Ardmore, serving as vice chair.
Senator Bernest Cain, D-Oklahoma City, will continue to chair the Health and Human Resources Committee with Senator-elect Judy Eason McIntyre serving as vice chair.
Senator Stratton Taylor, D-Claremore, will continue to serve as chairman of the Transportation Committee with Senator J. Berry Harrison, D-Fairfax, taking on the vice chairmanship.
Harrison was named to chair the Commerce Committee with Senator-elect Jim Wilson serving as vice chair.
As was announced in May, Senator Charlie Laster, D-Shawnee, will be chairman of the Judiciary Committee with Cain remaining as vice chair.
Senator Robert Kerr, D-Altus, will chair the Rules Committee with Laster serving as vice chair.
Senator Angela Monson, D-Oklahoma City, will chair the Education Committee with Senator-elect Susan Paddack serving as vice chair.
Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant, will chair the Finance Committee with Capps serving as vice chair.
Senator Richard Lerblance, D-Hartshorne, will be chairman of the Energy and Environment Committee with Senator Mary Easley, D-Tulsa, serving as vice chair.
Easley was named as chairwoman of the Sunset Review Committee with Senator-elect Randy Bass, D-Lawton, serving as vice chair.
Senator Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, will chair the Business and Labor Committee with Senator Harry Coates, R-Seminole, serving as vice chair.
Lawler, D-Commanche, was named to chair the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee with Senator-elect Charles Wyrick, D-Fairland, serving as vice chair.
All five of the incoming Freshman Democrats were named to chair committees.
Senator-elect Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee, was named to chair the General Government Committee with Senator Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, continuing to serve as vice chair.