Senate Approves Legislative Studies

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

The Senate released their list of legislative studies that will take place during the fall of this year. If you have interest in one or more, I suggest you contact the office of the author, who is listed after the designated number of the study. The phone number for the main line to the Senate is (405) 524-0126. I will update you next week on the approved House studies.

One study, requested by numerous lawmakers including Western Oklahoma State Sen. Rob Johnson, will examine the implementation of the administrative system for workers’ compensation. I have heard that the administrative system is much less expensive then our current system. I am highly interested in hearing about what the cost-savings to businesses could be and if there are any drawbacks to this type of a system. We need to create a system that works for the worker, not lawyers. We have made great strides in the last two years re-hauling this broken system. I have supported these and will continue to do what I can to improve our state’s business climate while protecting business owners and employees.

Another study, requested by State Sen. Brian Crain, will review the Department of Human Services Pinnacle Plan and the plan for the privatization of foster care and child protective services. With the poor track record of this agency, it is critical that we continue to keep our eye on it.

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman will conduct a study of the effectiveness of energy industry incentives. The energy sector is a critical component of the Oklahoma, and especially the Western Oklahoma, economy.

Other study topics include the repair and maintenance needs of the Oklahoma State Capitol, State Sen. Patrick Anderson; the feasibility of moving school board and municipal elections to odd-numbered years, State Sen. Eddie Fields; and the funding of Oklahoma schools, State Sens. John Ford and Jim Halligan.

These studies are the preliminary step in creating many of the major legislative agenda bills of the upcoming 2013 legislative session. The results of many of these studies will form the basis of proposed legislation. That’s why we take such time in examining and vetting idea thoroughly during the interim.

During the interim I will be traveling the district, but will regularly check the calls I receive at the Capitol office at (405) 557-7407.

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