Members of the Oklahoma State Senate’s Republican Rural Caucus released today their policy agenda for the 2009 legislative session, entitled their “Vision for Improving the Quality of Life in Rural Oklahoma.”
The Senate Republican Rural Caucus’ agenda calls for protecting agricultural tax exemptions, improving access to healthcare professionals and facilities in rural Oklahoma, opposing forced school consolidation, and providing more funding for county roads and bridges.
“The Senate Republican Rural Caucus is ready to provide the leadership rural Oklahoma needs,” said Senator Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, Senate Republican Rural Caucus Chairman.
“Our focus and desire as a caucus is to protect the resources and assets that are vital to the well being of our citizens and our state’s economic development and job growth,” continued Justice. “Rural Oklahoma has so much to offer to our state and nation. During these economically difficult times, we feel the reforms we discussed today are necessary avenues to take in order to advance rural Oklahoma and defend what matters most.”
The Republican Rural Caucus vision includes:
Protect agricultural tax exemptions.
Increase funding for the improvement of county roads and bridges.
Oppose any legislation that requires the forced consolidation of public schools.
Ensure the protection of private property rights.
Modernize the trucking permit system.
Improve access to healthcare professionals and facilities.
Enhance access to ambulance and fire services in rural Oklahoma.
Reauthorize the previous bond funding for conservation structures.
The Republican Rural Caucus is made up of 12 members: Senators Ron Justice of Chickasha, District 23; Patrick Anderson of Enid, District 19; Don Barrington of Lawton, District 31; Jim Halligan of Stillwater, District 21; Harry Coates of Seminole, District 28; John Ford of Bartlesville, District 29; Mike Johnson of Kingfisher, District 22; Todd Lamb of Edmond, District 47; Bryce Marlatt of Woodward, District 27; David Myers of Ponca City, District 20; Mike Schulz of Altus, District 38; Anthony Sykes of Newcastle, District 24. The purpose of the Republican Rural Caucus is to provide a voice for the citizens of rural, small town Oklahoma and promote their issues at the State Capitol.