Bills signed into law

Today, Governor Mary Fallin signed two bills I authored into law.

HB 1909, authored by Speaker T.W. Shannon and myself, will require able-bodied adults without dependents to work at least 20 hours a week in order to receive food stamps.   This is a common sense measure that ensures that people who have asked their neighbors for help are taking the right steps towards self-reliance.

SB 889, authored by myself and  Rep. Colby Schwartz over in the House, will require sex offenders to properly complete their registration requirements before they could possibly be removed from the sex offender registry (some offenders are sentenced to the list for 15 or 25 years).   Believe it or not, the way the law was written originally, people were automatically coming off the list even if they had not been in compliance with the registration requirements.   This addresses that issue, ensuring that violators are not rewarded and that the public remains on notice, especially in regards to sex offenders who are trying to avoid detection.

The OKC Memorial Marathon

Me and The King

Every Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon has meaning, but in the wake of Boston, this one had another layer.

I was honored to hand out medals at the finish line.   Here I am with Coach Barry Switzer, who was also handing out medals.   People were a lot more excited to get a medal from him, so I just tried to keep him stocked.

The Oklahoman: “‘Big League City’ author says OKC growth will surpass expectations”

This weekend, The Oklahoman had a piece on Senator David Holt’s thoughts about the future of Oklahoma City.   You can read it here.

George W. Bush Presidential Center

Me and other OK legislators at the dedication of the Bush library.

 

I left the White House nine years ago, but that unique experience will always be a part of me.   It is well-documented that I have great respect for President George W. Bush’s service to our nation.    Over the past 48 hours, I’ve joined other alumni of the Bush Administration in Dallas for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.   My real time observations of those events can be viewed at my Facebook or Twitter feeds.

Brief update from the OK Capitol

This week is the deadline for all bills to pass both the Senate and the House or they are dead for the year.     With that in mind, here are the Senate bills still alive that I authored or House bills still alive that I am guiding through the Senate, and their status.

Senate bills

A bill to make “Black Friday” and other low-price sales legal in Oklahoma – passed House and heading back to Senate with amendments

A bill to protect the presidential choice of Oklahoma voters if a presidential elector violates their oath – SIGNED INTO LAW

A bill to ensure state agencies are following competitive bidding processes – on the Governor’s desk

A bill to clarify SNAP fraud and strengthen the penalties – passed House and heading back to Senate with amendments

A bill to keep sex offenders on the registry until they complete their sentence – on the Governor’s desk

A bill to require certain state agencies file reports justifying their expenditures and fees – passed House and heading back to Senate with amendments

A bill to create alternative dispute resolution for assisted living facilities – SIGNED INTO LAW

House bills

I have four House bills that are just “clean-up bills” (as they say in the Legislature) that hardly contain any substantive changes to Oklahoma law, though they are necessary.   The remaining four are:

A bill to give taxpayers who have suffered a property loss from a natural disaster more time to seek a lower property tax valuation – on the Governor’s desk

A bill to give notice to health insurance customers when a drug is removed from their plan – passed the Senate and heading back to the House with amendments

A bill to direct DHS and the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative to air public service announcements supporting marriage – passed the Senate and heading back to the House with amendments

A bill that will require able-bodied adults without dependents to work 20 hours a week to receive SNAP – on the Governor’s desk

The end of session is now just a month away.   With deals recently reached on a tax cut, workers compensation reform, and infrastructure, we should be heading towards a timely finish.

Big Day at the OK Capitol

Big day in the Legislature today – Governor, Senate and House have come to agreement on three major issues:
1) The income tax will be lowered from 5.25 percent to 5 percent, and possibly as low as 4.85 percent the following year.   As someone who has introduced tax cut bills every year I’ve been here, lowering the income tax has been one of my highest priorities.   I am thrilled that we will send this message to the nation that we are committed to being a limited government, low-tax state.
2) The workers compensation system will move to an administrative system, which will dramatically lower Oklahoma’s workers compensation costs, making our state much more friendly to economic growth.
3) Our state will begin thinking strategically about our government infrastructure needs, much like we do for our roads.   This includes funding next year (without selling bonds) for desperately needed repairs to the people’s house – the Oklahoma Capitol building.
Days at the Capitol don’t get much better than this.   My gratitude to Pro Tem Brian Bingman, Governor Mary Fallin, and Speaker T.W. Shannon for their hard work on these critical initiatives!

Art in the OK Capitol: “Jim Thorpe”

“Jim Thorpe”

All session this year, I will try every week to post a picture I take of a piece of art from the walls of the Oklahoma Capitol, and give you a little bit of historical background.

This week’s piece is “Jim Thorpe” by Charles Banks Wilson and unveiled in the late 1960s.   The legendary Wilson is still alive, and I had the opportunity to meet him a couple of years ago when his own portrait was unveiled in the Capitol.

As for Jim Thorpe, of course he is one of the greatest Oklahomans who ever lived, and perhaps the greatest athlete to ever walk the earth.    His portrait hangs with three others in the Rotunda on the fourth floor (the other three are Will Rogers, Robert S. Kerr, and Sequoyah).   Last year, I invited Jim Thorpe’s sons to the Capitol for a resolution, and took a picture with them in front of their dad’s portrait.   Last week, those sons won their court case to relocate their father’s body to Oklahoma.   We shall see how that turns out.

For more information regarding this painting, click here.   If for some reason, you don’t know anything about Jim Thorpe, get to work.

Americans for Prosperity Hails Passage of SB 550

Today, Americans for Prosperity hailed the passage of SB 550 by Senator David Holt, which will lower prices for Oklahoma consumers by restoring the free market to pricing.

OKC Friday: “Worker’s Comp top on Senator Holt’s list”

The OKC Friday newspaper has an update this week on Senator David Holt’s priorities at the Legislature.   You can read it here.

SB 592

Thank you to Governor Mary Fallin for signing SB 592, my bill with Rep. Colby Schwartz that allows for dispute resolution between assisted living centers and the Department of Health.   Avoiding court when disputes arise is good for assisted living center and the patients they serve.

Art in the OK Capitol: “Pro Patria”

 

“Pro Patria”

All session this year, I will try every week to post a picture I take of a piece of art from the walls of the Oklahoma Capitol, and give you a little bit of historical background.

This week’s piece is the west panel of “Pro Patria” by Gilbert White and donated by Frank Phillips in 1928.    Honoring Oklahomans who perished in World War I, it looms over a committee meeting room in the House of Representatives.    I wrote about the east panel of “Pro Patria” last week, and I wrote about the central panel the week before.

At the 1928 dedication, the artist said “through these canvases, may the muffled voices from the grave speak to the generations to come of a day when men were not too proud to fight and held life less than their country’s honor.”

For more information regarding this painting, click here.

Protecting the integrity of the presidential election process

Today, Governor Mary Fallin signed SB 309 into law.   Someday a presidential elector may spark a Constitutional crisis, but thanks to this bill, it won’t happen in Oklahoma.  Here’s what I wrote about SB 309 in March.

A brief update from the Capitol

Today was the deadline for all bills to get out of their committee in the opposite chamber from where they began.   Meaning, if I had a bill that I wrote in the Senate and it passed the Senate, it had to be heard in a House committee by today or it’s dead for 2013.    Now, all that’s left is for the full Senate and House to complete its work of considering bills from the opposite chamber, or bills that have been amended and are heading back to their original chamber for one more vote, or a conference to work out disputes.    With that in mind, here are the Senate bills still alive that I authored or House bills still alive that I am guiding through the Senate, and their status.

Senate bills

A bill to make “Black Friday” and other low-price sales legal in Oklahoma – passed House committee

A bill to protect the presidential choice of Oklahoma voters if a presidential elector violates their oath – on the Governor’s desk

A bill to ensure state agencies are following competitive bidding processes – passed House committee

A bill to clarify SNAP fraud and strengthen the penalties – passed House committee

A bill to keep sex offenders on the registry until they complete their sentence – passed House committee

A bill to require certain state agencies file reports justifying their expenditures and fees – passed House committee

A bill to create alternative dispute resolution for assisted living facilities – on the Governor’s desk

House bills

I have four House bills that are just “clean-up bills” (as they say in the Legislature) that hardly contain any substantive changes to Oklahoma law, though they are necessary.   The remaining four are:

A bill to give taxpayers who have suffered a property loss from a natural disaster more time to seek a lower property tax valuation

A bill to give notice to health insurance customers when a drug is removed from their plan

A bill to direct DHS and the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative to air public service announcements supporting marriage

A bill to stop DHS from continuing to seek waivers from the work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents who receive SNAP

The session is now just a month and a half away.   In addition to my bills, I am of course also keeping a keen eye on the progress of workers compensation reform, tax cuts, and needed infrastructure improvements.

Piedmont Daily on “Dog the Bounty Hunter” visit to Capitol

Piedmont Daily has coverage here of “Dog the Bounty Hunter’s” visit to the Oklahoma Capitol, along with a picture of Senator David Holt and “Dog”.

KFOR on Senator Holt’s “Black Friday” bill

KFOR has coverage here of Senator David Holt’s legislation to lower prices for Oklahomans by allowing “Black Friday” and other low-price sales.