When he returns to the State Capitol for the coming legislative session, State Senator Darryl Roberts will serve as one of the top budget leaders in the Oklahoma Legislature.
The Ardmore legislator was named chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education today, the committee that controls almost 60 percent of the state's $3.8 billion budget.
"This is a great opportunity, not just for me, but for all the people in southern Oklahoma. I'm going to make sure our area schools aren't neglected in the big budget picture," said Senator Roberts.
Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor announced the appointment today, saying the education and budget expertise of Senator Roberts made him the best person for the job.
"Senator Roberts has proven that he is one of the most skilled legislators in Oklahoma, especially in the area of education," said Senator Taylor. "He will ensure that our schools remain the most important budget priority."
The position of chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education is one of the most influential in the Oklahoma Legislature. The panel sets the budgets for the public schools, college and universities, as well as the State Arts Council, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the Department of Libraries and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.
"Education will continue to be at the top of our funding priority list. All the experts tell us that the key to creating new jobs and wealth is a strong education system. I'm going to make sure we do the right things in education so our kids will be competitive in the marketplace of tomorrow," said Senator Roberts.
Senator Roberts will officially assume his duties as subcommittee chairman when the 46th Oklahoma Legislature convenes for a one-day organizational meeting in January. The full legislative session begins February 3rd.