The Pryor Times

Opinion

April 6, 2013

A little about a lot

Mike Sperry has resigned his position as chairperson of the Delaware County Democratic Party. Even though we are of different political parties, I really enjoyed visiting with Mike on various issues. We always had lively discussions on various topics, whether we agreed or disagreed. Even when we agreed to disagree we always respected each other’s opinions and ended the conversation on a friendly note. I wish the all Democrats and Republicans in Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C. communicated as well with each other as Mike and I always have. More good things would get accomplished if they did. Good luck to Mike as he opens the next chapter in his life.

We are halfway through the legislative session and one of the few bills that has made it all the way through and been signed into law by the governor is a bill concerning horse slaughtering! Still on the table are issues like the state budget, state income tax rate, reform of the worker’s compensation system and how Oklahoma will deal with the new federal health care law.

I continue to be passionate about getting more funding for our state parks system. This is vital to our area with lakes Hudson, Spavinaw, Eucha and Grand. The reality of it is that with needs in education, prison and state employee pay, we may just be lucky if we can keep the funding at the same level as last year.

As mentioned here in previous articles some of my other priorities are education funding, competitive wages for state employees, and cost of living increases for our retirees. I am also a strong proponent of funding repairs to your state Capitol building. The Capitol is in such need of repair that visitors have to walk under scaffolding to come in the main entrance to keep from being hit by crumbling pieces falling off the building.

Recent state Capitol visits by our federal legislators included Congressman Mark Wayne Mullin from our area and Congressman Tom Cole from southwestern Oklahoma.  Like you, I appreciate these guys doing a good job representing us on the national scene.  However, after hearing their stories about things in D.C., I am more appreciative of how our government works here on the state level with our balanced budget and better communication across party lines.

I had a chance to stop by the Oklahoma state high-school regional robotic competition in Oklahoma City. The Grove team is named F.R.O.G., short for First Robotics Organization of Grove. They really had a nice booth and looked sharp in their team shirts as they prepared their robot for competition. Wish I could have stayed to watch them compete but I had to get back home to work in the ER.

Thanks to Mr. Malone, the parents and sponsors that make this program possible. Those F.R.O.G. kids are SMART!!

Don’t forget, if you are in Oklahoma City stop by the Capitol and say hello. It is an honor to represent you in the House of Representatives.  I can reached at dougcox@okhouse.gov or (405) 557-7415.

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