I hit the ground running this deadline week with a Monday breakfast with Governor Stitt and other representatives at the Governor’s Mansion. This was a great opportunity to join around the table with the Governor in a more informal setting to build stronger relationships. We discussed how things are going at the Capitol, what we’ve accomplished so far this session and where we are in achieving our remaining goals.
Back at the Capitol, we spent hours in committee meetings to consider as many Senate bills as possible before Thursday’s deadline. The Senate sent us 429 bills to consider, of which we passed 348 out of House committees. So far this session, we’ve passed 61 Senate Bills off the House floor.
I served as House author of four Senate bills, all of which made it through the committee process, and one of which has already passed the House floor. SB853 by Sen. Chris Kidd increases the travel reimbursement rate for county elected officials by $100/month, a necessary change seeing as it hasn’t been raised in approximately 12 years. It passed the House 96-0.
A bill I filed in the House passed the Senate floor unanimously this week. HB1909 allows judges the ability to deposit monies recovered on behalf of a minor after a settlement into a college savings account at the request of the legal guardian or next closest friend, with the minor designated as the beneficiary of the account. Sen. Montgomery carried this bill in the Senate, where it passed unanimously. Both SB853 and HB1909 are now at the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
This week, Gov. Stitt signed another bill of mine into law, HB1939. This was a bipartisan effort with Rep. Perryman and Sen. Paxton who also represent Grady County to simplify the county elected official salary formula and clean up outdated statues with conflicting language. This bill will help ensure counties are in compliance with state law of salary compensation for county elected officials. We worked closely with the State Auditor’s office on this bill who also added in additional rules in counties estimate of needs salary approval process to prevent this situation from occurring again in the future.
On Tuesday, the Legislature was joined by Gov. Stitt for Oklahoma National Guard Appreciation Day. The 45th Infantry makes extraordinary sacrifices to serve our state and country, and I was glad to take an afternoon to recognize their achievements.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll focus on hearing bills that passed committee on the House floor. I have three more Senate bills to present on the floor over the next two weeks. One of my House bills, HB1911, passed committee in the Senate and is eligible to be heard by the full chamber before our next deadline, April 25.
In district news, I had the opportunity to meet with the Leadership Duncan Class on Tuesday for their annual visit to the Capitol, and I was thankful for the chance to visit with these community leaders. Many in the group are friends of mine, including my former high school baseball coach, Brook Holding, who is now the principal at Red River Career Tech in Duncan.
On Thursday evening, I attended the Lt. Gov.’s Annual Turkey Hunt Banquet in Stephens County. This annual event brings prospective businesses to the area and matches them with local community, civic and business leaders for a turkey hunt before ending the day with an award banquet with Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell. The Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation always does a wonderful job recruiting out of state and even international businesses to grow the local economy in Stephens County and Southwest Oklahoma!
I visited the Duncan Chamber of Commerce on Friday to attend their Legislative Update Breakfast at Cameron University in Duncan. I also had the opportunity to do the same at the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce Legislative Update Breakfast a couple of weeks ago which was a great event as well. I’m always encouraged by the wonderful turnout at these events and the opportunity to visit directly with constituents about their concerns at the Capitol.
The end of session is on the horizon, but I encourage my District 51 constituents to contact me with questions or concerns about legislation. You can reach me at (580) 641-3153 or firstname.lastname@example.org God bless!
Rep. Brad Boles