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2018 Session - Week 1

First, I have to apologize. I promised transparency and my reports have been nonexistent for two weeks. My excuse for last week was beyond my control – my internet access failed. My excuse for this week is the whirlwind of events. Please forgive me.

OPENING SESSION (Week 1, Day 1):

The Opening Session began with an Invocation and then we immediately gaveled in as an extension of the Second Special Session. The Governor had extended our purpose: to pass new revenue to fix the budget and to fund mental health and addiction treatment. We then adjourned from Special Session and into Regular Session with another Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, Introductions of the Veteran of the Week, the Doctor of the Day, and the Nurse of the Day (There’s a lot of theatre in the Legislature.). We then gaveled into Joint Session with the Senate, including yet another Invocation (We do a LOT of praying in the Legislature.) and another Pledge of Allegiance. The Governor entered the House Chamber for her State of the State Address. She began by declining to enumerate the successes of the past seven years (Understandable. Her total lack of leadership has led us to this catastrophic state of affairs.) and then declared, “We are at a defining moment in the history of the State of Oklahoma.” and “Oklahomans take care of each other; the Oklahoma Standard lives!” (She stole that from me - that was one of my slogans in my last campaign.) and “Enough is enough! We can do better! Our children deserve better!” (Those were mine, too.) Basically, she said nothing original. Much to do about nothing! We then gaveled out of Joint Session and back into Regular Session where we had Announcements and introduced the Psychologist of the Day (Appropriate!) before we Adjourned for the day. Another productive day at the office.

Week 1, Day 2:

We began with the Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, and the Introduction of the Doctor of the Day. The members of the 5A High School State Champion Dance Team from Woodward were introduced by Representative Sanders. WE ACTUALLY PASSED A BILL, HB2281, which dealt with crimes and punishments and modifying penalties and fines. We then adjourned into Special Session where we had another Invocation (I told you we pray a lot.) and Adjourned for the day. I had a Higher Education and Career Tech Committee meeting that afternoon.

Week 1, Day 3:

Before Session, I had a meeting with the Health Services and Long-Term Care Committee. In Session, we began with Invocation, Pledge, Reading of House Resolution 1022 making today Rose Day, Introduction of this week’s House Pages, Adjournment into Special Session where we gaveled in and gaveled out. The Democratic Caucus was invited to lunch at Faculty House to discuss the Step Up Oklahoma Bill which is to be voted on next week.

Week 1, Day 4:

Invocation, Pledge, Reading of House Resolution 1023 proclaiming today as Wear Red for Women’s Heart Health Day. WE PASSED ANOTHER BILL, HB 3115 requiring applicants for a license of Optometry to submit to a national criminal history check for which the applicant is responsible for the fee. During the question period before voting on the bill, I asked the author of the bill the obvious question: not “Do we really have a problem with criminal Optometrists in Oklahoma?’, but rather “What is the fee for this criminal background check?” THE AUTHOR DIDN’T KNOW!!! Don’t you think that if you authored a bill requiring someone to submit to a test and pay for it, you would know the cost of that test?!?!? I was later told that the representative who “authored” the bill probably had never before seen the bill before it was handed to him to pass through committee and then introduce to the House Floor where, as a Republican-sponsored bill, it was sure to pass. This is absolutely the most frustratingly illogical place I have ever worked! Upon adjournment, we were told that the Step Up Oklahoma bill would probably pass out of JCAB over the weekend and be up to vote on Monday, which had already been declared as Step Up for Teachers Day.

Week 1, Day 5:

No, I’m not working at the Capitol today (The House is usually in adjournment on Fridays.), but I’m still in Oklahoma City. It’s a happy day! I’m moving into my legislative apartment today! It’s close to the Capitol and I won’t have to make the almost two-hour trip back and forth to Tulsa every day as I have been all this week. I also won’t be at the mercy of the unpredictable Oklahoma weather, which can be sunshine beautiful and warm one day and freezingly cold and icy/snowy the next. I haven’t lived in an apartment for over 40 years; it’s amazingly small, and I really hate being away from home and my husband who is still as supportive as ever. Oh well, it’s only for four months.

Paid for by Karen Gaddis for HD75 2018
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