The House has been hard at work since we started session in February, and we’ve accomplished a lot since then. Both chambers have already passed numerous bills, many of which have already been signed into law by the Governor.Logan Phillips
The House recently began the process of hearing bills passed by the Senate. Each bill goes through committee before being eligible to be heard on the floor, but bills with a financial impact must pass through a relative subcommittee and then the entire Appropriations and Budget Committee first. When a bill passes committee, it’s eligible to be heard on the House floor.
Since the House is hearing bills already passed by the Senate, most bills that pass the House floor will advance directly to the governor’s desk. However, many bills have passed their chamber with the title off, which means that the details were still being discussed when it passed. Bills with the title off will return to the chamber they originated in for another vote to confirm the final language.
A few weeks ago, I joined my colleagues in the Legislature to honor our state’s veterans for Veterans Awareness Day. We met in joint session to recognize the sacrifice of these brave men and women and were joined by Gov. Stitt and Lt. Gov. Pinnell. The ceremony was attended by many veterans, service members, supporters and family members, who packed the House floor and galleries to show their support.
Our veterans sacrificed an extraordinary amount to serve our country and state, and we owe them a debt that can never be repaid. Their selfless sacrifice cannot be overstated, and I’m proud to represent many veterans who reside in the community of District 24.
As we draw closer to the end of session, the budget discussion has taken front stage. After years of budget cuts for our agencies, we have a surplus this year of roughly $574.6 million. This is great news, as it indicates how well our economy is doing, but the Legislature still has to decide where that money should go.
State agencies have requested an additional $1.2 billion in funding, and unfortunately we don’t have the money to meet all of those needs, so we are being very judicious with our budget proposal. We’ll continue to examine how we can best serve the people of Oklahoma as we hammer out the budget details.
We are hopeful that both legislative bodies will provide more classroom funding and another teacher pay raise, but we are also mindful of the hundreds of state employees who are equally deserving of a long-overdue cost-of-living adjustment.
In the meantime, I encourage you to reach out to my office with questions or comments on legislation and budget discussions. Thank you for the privilege of serving District 24 in the House.