by Gus Blackwell, Rep.-61
As the new session begins to unfold this legislative session, many people have contacted me about pending legislation. One of the purposes of the new rules enacted by Speaker Todd Hiett is to allow more openness in government. To achieve this purpose, the House web site has been updated and changed to help insure more availability to government.
To access this website, please go to www.okhouse.gov to get to the home page. Once at the home page it is possible to look at the make up of committees, leadership, and members of the House. One can also click on a menu selection that allows people to look at bills that are filed and pending legislation. This allows people to make up their own minds about bills rather than have others tell them what the bill does.
The website also has a page that details pending amendments, and the time left in which to file amendments. One can also look up how legislators voted on different bills, and see if the bill is still being considered in the House or in a committee. This is huge stride forward that will allow people to participate in government without having to be in Oklahoma City.
During the past two weeks, House members have been busy doing committee work and beginning the preliminary work of addressing the over 1,000 bills that have been filed. The Corrections and Criminal Justice Committee, of which I am chair, has already looked at over 40 bills. The new website also has minutes of every committee and recorded roll call votes on every bill brought before that committee.
As always, I appreciate your involvement and contact with me about pending legislation and hearing concerns from my constituents. My number at the Capital is still (405) 557-7384 or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. For a representative government to work, it is imperative that communication be a two way street.
I also appreciate constituents that travel to the Capital and visit with me about their concerns and pending bills. It is always my pleasure to discuss issues that affect the panhandle area and have input from people with different viewpoints. I encourage you to come and visit your Capital and be involved in your government.
Once again the new House rules have removed what has been done in secret and made these proceedings open to the public. As the session continues to develop, I hope that you will continue to be involved in the process and stay informed about the issues.
During this session, my family will be staying with me in Oklahoma City. My wife and I have decided that this will be the best possible decision for our family during my hectic schedule at the Capital. I believe that to be the best State Representative, I must maintain my commitment to be my best as a husband and a father.
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