We are now in week four of the legislative session, and everything is moving at a rapid pace. It’s hard to believe we are already 25 percent of the way through session.
The big news for our district is that my House Bill 1149 passed in committee today. This bill would keep the Veterans Center in Talihina. This bill still has a ways to go before final passage, but I’m grateful for this first step.
Last week we unanimously passed a $1,200 increase to the minimum salary schedule for Oklahoma public school teachers. The salary increase will be paid from surplus funds and will not require any increase in taxes. We support the hard work and dedication of our teachers and hope to increase funding to classrooms this session.
We also are continuing to focus on rural health care because we realize that the current system is not working for low income and rural Oklahomans. I believe there are still options to explore other than a wide open expansion of Medicaid with the current financial insecurity of our federal government. It is difficult to believe this could be federally funded indefinitely.
I visited Lakewood Christian School last Friday to take part in the Opportunity Scholarship presentations. Lakewood is a good Christian school that should continue to be supported under this program.
I have continued my work on conservation as a member of the Legislature. I attended the Soil Conservation Dinner on Monday, and Brad Hamilton from Pittsburg County is talking with legislators this week about conservation issues.
It was my honor to sponsor World War II veteran Jack Nash of Wilburton as Veteran of the Week. Jack joined the United States Army Air Force shortly after graduating high school in 1941 and fought bravely in Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Sicily and France. He did not step foot on American soil again until he returned home in 1945.
Thanks again for allowing me to serve. I can be reached at Jim.Grego@okhouse.gov or (405) 557-7381.