Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson and Appropriations Chairman Mike Morgan named chairpersons Friday for the seven Appropriations Subcommittees that will write the Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007 state budgets in the 50th Oklahoma Legislature.
“In my opinion we’ve assembled an extremely talented team who will make sure that state government is providing critical services to the people of Oklahoma in an efficient and effective manner,” said Hobson, D-Lexington.
Senator Johnnie Crutchfield, D-Ardmore, will chair the Subcommittee on Education and serve as Appropriations Committee vice chairman.
“Education is more than half of our state budget. I look forward to working with Senator Crutchfield as we begin the important task of raising teachers’ salaries in our state to the regional average and tackling the myriad of education funding challenges that lie ahead,” said Morgan, D-Stillwater.
Senator Frank Shurden, D-Henryetta, will chair the Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation. Shurden is beginning his 19th year in the State Senate after having served six years in the House of Representatives. He most recently chaired the Senate Tourism and Wildlife Committee. Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant, will serve as vice chair.
Senator Jeff Rabon, D-Hugo, has been named as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services. Rabon was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and recently won re-election to a third term. He most recently served as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Robert Kerr, D-Altus, will serve as vice chair.
Senator Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, will chair the Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary. Corn, who served four years in the House before being elected to the Senate, has previously served as chairman of the Retirement and Public Health Committee. Senator Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, will serve as vice chair.
Senator Bernest Cain, D-Oklahoma City, will head up the Subcommittee on Human Services. Cain was first elected to the Senate in 1978 and is also chairman of the Health and Human Resources Committee.
Senator-elect Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, has been named chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Adelson previously served as Secretary of Health in Governor Brad Henry’s cabinet. Senator Angela Monson, D-Oklahoma City, will serve as vice chair.
Senator-elect Susan Paddack, D-Ada, will chair the Subcommittee on Select Agencies.
“We have a great mix in this group of veteran lawmakers, some of the young members who are going to be the future leaders of the Senate and two of the brightest incoming freshmen in this year’s class. I’m confident each of them is up to the task and I’m excited about working with our new appropriations team as we continue to make Oklahoma an even better place to live, work and raise a family,” Hobson said.