Legislative Interim work update
OKLAHOMA STATE SENATE/ From the desk of Sen. Paul Scott
Welcome back to school! Hopefully, everyone enjoyed their summer break and is ready to get back to class and learn some new things. Students aren’t the only ones learning. The legislature will be holding interim studies of more than 100 different issues between now and November.
I’ve requested several interim studies to address constituent issues and legislative topics that need to be discussed before the upcoming session. These provide an opportunity to gather research and information to determine if legislative action is needed to address or resolve issues constituents are facing. We’re currently waiting to hear from the different committee chairmen hoping they will hear the studies. Dates and times will be posted on the Senate website once they’re scheduled.
Two working groups have also been appointed to study how to improve Oklahomans access to healthcare and improve overall health outcomes as well as create the Legislative Office for Fiscal Transparency (LOFT). The working groups will more than likely last for several weeks while interim studies typically just take a day or two. Presentations made during the studies will be available online.
LOFT will provide the accurate, up-to-date data we need to create an efficient budget that meets the true needs of agencies and citizens. The working group is in the process of creating the job descriptions for the director and other staff. They will work to fill those positions this fall and winter.
These meetings are all open to the public. They’ll also be streamed live on the Senate website. You can find them under Committees and Interim Studies.
I’ve been traveling back and forth to the Capitol in between meetings and events around the district the last month.
I attended the Purcell-Lexington Bridge opening on July 26th. This was such an important, long-awaited project to connect these two communities. It will not only help local businesses and citizens in their daily commutes in the area but will also improve public safety.
On July 29th and 30th, I attended the ceremonial bill signings of two of my bills, SB 893, which provided the Foster Care Income Tax Credit, and SB 990 dealing with Medicare rate changes. Constitutionally, bills must be signed during session but because session is so busy ceremonial signings are held during the interim to allow bill advocates to come celebrate their hard work with the Governor and the authors of the bills.
On July 30th, I also got to sit down with Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and his media staff for his weekly Podcast “OK Senate on Deck” to discuss what’s been happening around our district and state. I talked about robo-calls and some of the other studies I’ll be working on this interim. These videos can be found at www.oksenate.gov under Media and Pro Tem Media.
On August 7th, I hosted the Capitol Watermelon Feed for state employees and visitors. I want to thank my EA for coordinating this event and Joe Dorman for providing the delicious Rush Springs watermelons. It was also a treat to have the Watermelon Queen Morgan White greeting and serving everyone.
On August 12th, Washington Public Schools received a grant as part of the Catalyst Education Fund (CEF) to update their district technology. It was a pleasure attending the check presentation and hearing attending the check presentation and hearing about their planned improvements.
This past week (August 14-16), I attended ALEC’s (American Legislative Exchange Council) annual meeting in Austin, Texas, with other legislators from our region. These bipartisan meetings allow us to discuss business and economic issues facing our states and find common solutions to make state government more efficient, effective and accountable to citizens.
I was honored to be invited to speak at a Flag Ceremony on Saturday August 24, 2019. The ceremony was to recognize and honor SFC Tony K. Burris, an American Hero and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient from Blanchard, Oklahoma. We appreciate his service and commitment to our nation. It is always a privilege to shake hands with our veterans and thank them personally for the sacrifices they have made to ensure our freedom.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any ideas, questions or concerns you might have regarding legislative matters. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 521-5522. You can also write me at the state Capitol at Sen. Paul Scott, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 428, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.