The Pryor Times

Opinion

March 8, 2014

Ladies and Chamber Month

PRYOR, OK — Women make up 51 percent of the Oklahoma population. However, only four out of 48 state senators are women. Out of 101 Oklahoma House members, only 16 are women. With 13.4 percent of our Legislature made up of women, we have the 4th-lowest percentage of female legislators in the nation. Colorado has the highest percentage at 42 percent, with Vermont being a close second at 41 percent.

Our Legislature is lagging behind other areas of work:

• 48 percent of medical students are now women.

• 47percent of law students are women.

• 61percent of all pharmacy graduates are women.

• 63 percent of auditors and accountants are women.

• 41percent of all MBA students are women.

The number of female entrepreneurs is multiplying two to four times faster than men. In fact, 74 percent of all start-up companies in the last year were founded by women.

Why did I write this column about women? March is Women’s History Month. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8th of that year as National Women’s History Week. In 1987, March was officially declared Women’s History Month by Congress.

OK young ladies: think about a stint in public service by serving in the Legislature!

I enjoyed attending the Salina Chamber of Commerce’s first annual dinner, held in The Finish Line restaurant at Highbanks Speedway. County Commissioner Ryan Ball and Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) board member Tom Kimball discussed some economic development ideas – revolving around fishing – for the Lake Hudson and Salina areas. Exciting times are ahead.

Another active local chamber, the Grand Lake Chamber, had their banquet the same night. They raised some money for chamber activities with an auction.

It must be the season. The Jay Chamber has their banquet, with a Duck Dynasty theme, on March 11. Call the chamber office at 918-253-8698 for details.

At the Legislature, we are continuing to work on crafting the budget. Some of the House and Senate bills made it out of their respective committees, while many did not. Those that survived now move to a vote of the entire House or Senate.  ore on these later as they make it through the legislative process.

I can be reached at dougcox@okhouse.gov or 405-557-7415. Thanks for letting me serve as your state representative!

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