The 1997 class of the Oklahoma State Senate is officially in place today.
New Senators and incumbents who won re-election bids were formally sworn-in this morning by Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Alma Wilson.
The lawmakers were administered the oath of office during ceremonies in the Senate Chamber. Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor presided over the occasion.
"I'm looking forward to working with the new Senate, especially our freshman members," said Senator Taylor. "We will be facing a number of challenges in the coming months, and I have confidence that this body will be able to address them responsibly and effectively."
The 1997 class includes seven new Senators: Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, Jim Dunlap, R-Bartlesville, Jim Williamson R-Tulsa, Jeff Rabon, D-Hugo, Kathleen Wilcoxson, R-Oklahoma City, Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward and Robert Milacek, R-Waukomis.
The 48-member Oklahoma Senate consists of 33 Democrats and 15 Republicans.
"Even though Republicans are outnumbered in the Senate, the majority party will be seeking their input and counsel on all issues," said Senator Taylor. "It's clear that we will have to take a bipartisan approach if we are going to solve Oklahoma's problems."
Both the House and Senate will return to the Capitol in January for a one-day organizational meeting. The first regular session of the 46th Oklahoma Legislature will convene on February 3.