Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, is calling the 2019 legislative session the most productive of his tenure in the State Senate, in terms of both budgeting priorities and public policy that was signed into law. Lawmakers were able to conclude their work a week before the constitutional deadline of May 31.
“We were able to make targeted investments in all of our core services of government, including education, health and mental health, transportation and public safety,” Standridge said. “All of our agenda items were signed into law, including budget and policy legislation prioritizing education, creating greater transparency in the budget process, legislation strengthening government accountability and in the area of criminal justice reform.”
Standridge said he was very pleased by the support he received from fellow legislators and Gov. Kevin Stitt on key pieces of legislation he authored this past session, including House Bill 1365, creating the Office of Mobility and Public Transit under the Department of transportation.
“I was the Senate principal author of this bill which we believe can help us address critical unmet transportation needs in our communities through the use of innovative pilot programs such as autonomous vehicles and micro-transit,” Standridge said. “We’re really focused on the positive impact this could have on the lives of Oklahomans with disabilities who currently may struggle to meet their transportation needs, whether it’s just getting to work, doctor’s appointments or being able to get to the store and other day-to-day needs. I think this is going to be a real game-changer for a lot of people.”
Standridge also pointed to his “Oklahoma First” initiatives that have been signed into law, including Senate bill 240 and House Bill 2330.
“Every year, Oklahoma sends millions upon millions of dollars out of state and even out of the country on contracts that I am convinced could easily be fulfilled by Oklahomans at Oklahoma companies,” Standridge said. “These are my initial efforts to guide some of those contracts and work back to Oklahomans. When that money stays here, it gets reinvested here, creating greater wealth within our own state instead of sending it to Florida, Texas or halfway around the world.”
Standridge also succeed in enacting Senate Bill 378, which allows third-party commercial driver license (CDL) testing helping Oklahoma address a costly testing backlog in an industry that is an important part of the state’s economy.
“Testing backlogs and delays have cost Oklahomans $5 million in lost wages every year, plus there are losses from reduced economic output and in taxes,” Standridge said. “Third-party testing will get thousands of Oklahomans licensed and on the job.”
Standridge also won full passage for Senate Bill 162, which he says will help Oklahomans with terminal conditions have easier access to doctors who can prescribe medical marijuana.
: Sen. Rob Standridge at 405-521-5535, or email Rob.Standridge@oksenate.gov