This Week at the Capitol
Last week I was involved with the special session. The special session was called by the governor to reduce taxes for Oklahomans.
On Tuesday morning, the House Republican Caucus met to discuss the tax relief. We talked about the four bills that were ran through the House this year for tax relief, but these were not heard by Senate, causing the governor to call the special session to address this issue. If we waited for the next session, the tax relief would be the following year.
One question raised during discussion was whether we have the money to allow a tax relief and keep Oklahoma active and pursuing growth.
The state of Oklahoma currently has over $4 billion in savings. The state government runs similar to the process that we use in public schools. Public schools and the state are required to keep a 5% carry over to make sure they can finance the following year. At this time, the state government has a 10% carry over or more.
The Senate adjourned the special session sine die on Tuesday afternoon, but the House could still return next week. We are prepared to discuss avenues forward with both our colleagues in the Senate and the governor, but since the Senate adjourned, we left this week with little progress.
Additionally, I have spent time with House Speaker Charles McCall discussing the adolescent psychiatric unit we established in southeast Oklahoma. Until this time, we have never had a psychiatric unit to serve our adolescents in the southeast Oklahoma are. However, if they are placed to be evaluated, they can only stay seven days. As a result, we are now working on an adolescent psychiatric hospital that will have 22 beds for individuals who may want to commit suicide or have other severe psychological factors.
I have met with McAlester Hospital CEO Shawn Howard and others. There is a contract with an individual who will be building the hospital. We are now working on critical access. If we can receive critical access, the hospital will be funded at 101% by the federal government, which means your hospital will never go away.
I will always support the needs of District 15. I have progressed in the House of Representatives by serving on committees for Medicaid and Medicare, mental health, and school services. When session resumes, I will continue to work with my colleagues to reject bills that come from the Senate that I do not believe are the best paths forward.
These are some of the things that I have accomplished in the House of Representatives. It has been a pleasure serving everyone in District 15 and I am looking forward to continuing to serve.
Rep. Randy Randleman, a Republican, represents House District 15 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes Haskell County and portions of McIntosh, Muskogee, Le Flore and Pittsburg counties.