Garrison, Muskogee, OK

This was an exciting election with a historical voter turnout that led to a historical outcome with the first African-American becoming president.

It was an outstanding election for Democrats at the national level with the party gaining control of Congress.

Unfortunately, the outcome wasn’t as good at the state level as the Republicans now hold the majority in both bodies of the Oklahoma state Legislature for the first time in history.

The change should make for an interesting session, and I’ll keep you posted as to what’s taking place from week to week at your state Capitol during the upcoming session.

Tuesday, we swore six new members into the Senate as well as the 18 of us who were re-elected. Election years are always exciting at the Capitol as it helps bring new and exciting ideas into our committees and onto the floor for debate. I’m anxious to see what our freshmen senators bring to the table.

As happens every two years, we’ll be receiving our new committee assignments.

The next few months are going to be especially hectic as we work with staff to draft legislation for the 2009 session.

Our first deadline is for bill requests which must be made by Dec. 12. This is simply where we give our ideas to staff and they research the issues. They’ll first check for any duplication and then to make sure the bills are constitutional. The next step is to actually begin drafting the measures.

We then have until Jan. 15 to get all the final versions of our bills introduced so that they can be sorted and sent to the appropriate committee for consideration.

Since this is the first session of the 52nd Legislature, we’re also required under our Constitution to convene for an organizational day, which will be held Jan. 6. This is when all of the leadership positions will be formerly announced, and we’ll also use this time to take care of some other business matters to get us ready for session.

Session will then actually begin Feb. 2 around noon following Gov. Brad Henry’s State of the State Address in the House of Representatives.

The Governor’s speech can be viewed or listened to on the House’s Web site at

Senate sessions and committee meetings can be viewed from our Web site at by selecting “Audio/Video” on the home page and then clicking on the appropriate media type.

If you ever happen to be in or around Oklahoma City, stop by and sit in on session and be sure to stop by my office and say hello.

Contact state Sen. Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee, at State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 527B, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105; at (405) 521-5533, or byClicking Here

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