By State Rep. Logan Phillips
The second regular session of the 57th Legislature is underway and the energy in the Capitol is contagious as everybody gears up for it.Logan Phillips
Representatives began the process of moving into their new offices a few months ago. Last interim, the Senate offices were remodeled, and this interim it was finally time for the House offices to do the same. This is all part of the ongoing Capitol restoration project that started in 2014. There are still several years left before the building is entirely restored.
Some parts of the Capitol, including the fourth floor rotunda, are still under renovation. If you’re making plans to visit the Capitol, I hope you won’t let the construction deter you. Many beautiful parts are still available for visitors to view, and constituents are always welcome to stop by my office for a visit or with questions.
Even when we weren’t in our offices, however, lawmakers were hard at work preparing for the new legislative session. The deadline to file new legislation was Jan. 16. A total of 1,361 new House Bills were filed, in addition to 1,526 bills carried over from last year.
I’ll highlight my own bills in detail as they move through the legislative process. I have a lot of reading to do in the next few weeks as we begin to consider this new legislation. Once session starts, we will hear bills in committee before they are considered for a vote before the entire House.
Last week, we also wrapped up budget hearings for state agencies that fall under the education umbrella. We heard from the State Department of Education and State Regents for Higher Education. Both talked about their current fiscal years, their goals for the next year and looked ahead to next year’s budget request as well.
As you know, all budget requests from state agencies must be approved by the Legislature before the legislative session on the last Friday in May. These meetings ahead of session give lawmakers the opportunity to ask detailed questions before we begin the formal budget process.
The new legislative session begins Monday, and I look forward to getting started and working to better District 24. Thank you for the opportunities to serve!
Rep. Logan Phillips, a Republican, represents District 24 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes Hughes, Okfuskee and Okmulgee Counties.