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By Greg McCortney
April 14 marked the deadline for Senate committees to consider bills from the House of Representatives.
As Majority Leader, my attention now turns to planning votes for all of our members on these measures – April 28 is the deadline for the full Senate to consider House bills, so for the next two weeks, that will be our goal.
While budget work has been underway since the end of the 2021 session, you can expect more definitive information on the budget for the 2023 fiscal year in the coming weeks.
You will also see a particular group of political bills return to the floor, even after the April 28 deadline. These are measures that have been adopted by each chamber with a more or less different language.
When one chamber rejects amendments made by the opposite side, the bills are sent to conference committees so that the final language can be drafted, and then the House and Senate must each pass this unified version before the bill can be drafted. legislation can be forwarded to the governor’s office for review.
We are also resuming many traditional events that have been suspended during the pandemic.
Last week, for the first time in a few years, we observed a very patriotic day stretching back some three decades, as members of the Senate and House met in joint session for the Oklahoma National Guard. and 45th Infantry Division Appreciation Day.
Members were reminded that the 45th Infantry Brigade helped train the Ukrainian soldiers who now defend their country’s freedom from the ongoing Russian invasion, and how the Oklahoma National Guard mobilized to help Oklahomans during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as they have helped their fellow citizens through tornadoes, floods, severe winter storms and wildfires, as well as helping to defend democracy in world war against terrorism.
We are truly blessed for the dedication and service of these 8,200 Oklahoma men and women from across our state who serve in the Oklahoma National Guard.
The Senate also this week passed a resolution recognizing the 75th anniversary of Gold Star Wives of America.
This national, nonprofit service organization for military widows and widowers is dedicated solely to the needs, concerns and well-being of surviving spouses and dependent children.
The phrase “Gold Star Family” originated during World War I, when military families displayed service flags featuring a blue star for each immediate family member serving in the armed forces. The color of the star would be changed to gold if the family lost a loved one during the war.
Finally, we also saw the return of 4-H Day at the Capitol. It is the nation’s largest youth development organization and, in our state, is a component of the Oklahoma State University Extension for youth ages 5-19.
Based on a hands-on learning approach, 4-H programming includes agriculture, but has expanded to include educational projects in other areas, such as photography, robotics, community development and more. helping to develop a strong work ethic, build character and teach leadership. skills.
4-H contributes more than 100,000 volunteer hours each year, benefiting communities across Oklahoma. To all the adult volunteers and students who participate, thank you.
I am honored to serve you in the Oklahoma State Senate. If you have a question about a legislative topic, please feel free to contact my office at (405) 521-5541 or by email at [email protected]