February 22, 2011
The third week of session is underway and we’re continuing our work in the various committees.
Due a procedural change this year, some bills are being double-assigned. These include those bills that seek to change public policy, but would also have a fiscal impact. These bills must first be heard in the committee that deals with the public policy and then it is assigned to the Appropriations or Finance Committee. This ensures that this type of legislation is being thoroughly considered before it comes before the full Senate.
The deadline for single-assigned Senate bills is Monday, February 28, while those that are double-assigned must be reported out of their first committee by Monday, February 21 and out of their second committee by Thursday, March 3. We then have until Thursday, March 17 to wrap up floor consideration of all the bills that made it out of committee.
I had one of my bills approved in committee last week and that was SB 42 which would prohibit the use of children or students in any kind of advertisements for the Oklahoma Education Lottery.
Speaking of education, I know Oklahoma’s public schools have a poor reputation on the national level. It seems our state ranks low in most national educational categories. They are even ridiculed by local media, but I’d like to point out that many pundits of our school system have never spent a day in the classroom or worked for a school system. They have no idea of the many obstacles teachers face in helping students be their best.
I want to take this opportunity to say that I believe our public schools are doing a great job educating our children. Our public schools and their attempt to educate each and every citizen, and for free no less, has been one of the hallmarks that has made our Nation great.