Business & Politics

May 10, 2010

Dorman still waiting on 4 measures

— The legislative session is progressing along slowly as we have considered a few bills each day.

We still have around 250 conference committee reports, many of which the leadership has not assigned the committee responsible for review.  All four of my bills are still waiting an assignment, even though I have most of the work finished on how I would like to see them pass.

They include the legislation to exempt doctors from lawsuit when volunteering for school sporting events (except in extreme negligence, the tax credit for volunteer firefighters basing the credit upon classes achieved, the tax increment financing reporting act and the restructuring of an education board to allow for them to qualify for $1.5 million in additional federal grants.  The deadline for conference committees is Monday, May 10.

The House did take time to debate the resolution recognizing the National Day of Prayer last week.  This passed unanimously by a voice vote, but one member did not want to be a co-author on that unanimous consent request. 

I am a co-author as I filed this request electronically and it only takes a few seconds to do this.  Several members threw a fit and tried to rescind the vote by which this passed and instead do a recorded vote to “find out who was against prayer” to mislead people in the campaigns.

It is this attitude which has been causing further division at the Capitol and hopefully we will not continue to experience as the politics have been growing stronger and patience is wearing thin with many of us in both parties considered moderate, or middle-of-the-road with our views and our voting records.

We often pass resolutions to recognize groups or causes which we feel are important, or even to honor our constituents when they have an achievement deemed worthy of recognition, such as recognizing Lupus Awareness Day at the Capitol on Monday. 

These things are good to do during the period of downtime, but we cannot let these things become polarizing when they are meant to spread goodwill.  Programs like this and honoring constituents with success-stories are important to highlight the great things about our state when there is extra time allowed in the session agenda. 

With that, I hope common sense will prevail and a majority of the members will continue to focus on critical needs in a timely manner, such as stabilizing the budget and implementing legislation with common sense, rather than some of the issues which are purely driven with a political agenda.

One committee on which I serve is still meeting on a regular basis. The Administrative Rule Review Committee is looking over the tax credits offered by the state and considering options on lowering or withdrawing many of these credits as a solution to the budget downturn. 

Several of these do not truly generate savings or provide incentives other than to put more money into programs, which has been compared to the federal bailout of the banks. 

I hope we can find some significant programs within this review and help keep many of our state programs seeing success and our educational programs and employees functioning through this next budget year without devastating cuts.

This weekend will be just as busy around the area. Grady County citizens have organized a TEA Party rally in Chickasha and I will be visiting with several of the participants about issues we are seeing at the Capitol.  I look forward to the discussion on policy and hope to make some new friends.

I will also be visiting Caddo Kiowa Career Tech to discuss current issues with the faculty and staff, then conclude with an assembly of the students to discuss concerns they face. 

Also, I hope you have the chance to attend the Elgin Crawds n’ Rods fundraiser benefiting their fire department this Saturday.  There is a poker run, car show and several bands playing, so it should be a fun day for all those who attend.

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