Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

    Fourth of July weekend is one of my favorite times of the year! There’s just something about the celebration of our country that seems to stir within everyone a sense of pride and unity. We are definitely blessed here in the United States of America, and we forget that fact far too often. When we stop and think about what the men and women who shaped and molded this country went through, it puts it into perspective. So many people, nearly 2.5 million individuals, have given their lives in our armed services; making sure that you and I have the freedoms that we do today. Countless others have laid their lives on the line everyday in serving us.
     I hope that we never forget the sacrifices of these individuals, and always remember the incredible freedoms and liberties that we have today. There are many forces at work that seek to destroy those freedoms, but I hope and pray that we each do our part in making sure we maintain this great nation.
    This Independence Day, I’ll be right along side you in shooting off fireworks, enjoying the swimming pool, eating lots of great summer food, and spending time with friends and family. However, let’s not forget all the ways that God has blessed us all. Take time to reflect on that!
    I’m looking forward to spending so much time with everyone from across my district during the weekend as well! Jessica and I have several stops planned across the district to wish everyone a happy Independence Day. Here is a list of some stops throughout the weekend:

·        Friday Evening: 5pm-dark – McLoud Blackberry Festival
·        Saturday Morning: 9am-11am – McLoud Blackberry Festival Parade
·        Saturday: 12pm-dark – McLoud Blackberry Festival
·        Sunday Morning: 9:30am-12:00pm – Preaching at Cole Baptist Church in Cole, OK.
·        Sunday Evening: 7:00-dark – Emmanuel Baptist Church of McLoud Fourth of July celebration.
·        Monday Evening: 8:00-dark – Asher Fireworks Display at the Asher Baseball Fields in Asher, OK.

We are looking forward to seeing and meeting so many of you this next weekend! May God richly bless you and your family during this amazing time!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cockroft Criticizes Tuition Hikes

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Josh Cockroft today criticized the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s decision to hike tuition rates even as the economic downturn has left many working families struggling to pay for a child’s education.
“At a time when more people need access to our colleges, the regents chose to make it harder for many students to attend,” said Cockroft, R-Tecumseh. “Furthermore, it is clear there was no compelling financial reason for the regents to take this action.”
Last week, the regents voted to increase tuition and fees at Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities. The tuition hikes included a 5 percent increase at the University of Oklahoma and a 4.8 percent increase at Oklahoma State University. Overall, tuition rates were increased between 3.2 percent and 8.3 percent at all Oklahoma public colleges.
However, Cockroft noted that a recent report by Matthew Denhart and Christopher Matgouranis found that only 40.5 percent of total expenditures at Oklahoma’s four-year public universities were for instructional needs.
“It is clear that there are many areas that could be cut to adjust to this year’s state appropriation without harming instruction or resorting to tuition increases,” Cockroft said. “Oklahoma’s colleges exist to serve the students, not the other way around. The regents need to get their priorities in order.”
As one of the youngest members of the Oklahoma Legislature, Cockroft knows better than most how challenging it is to pay for college.
“I am not far removed from the time when I was looking at college opportunities and had to figure out how to pay for them,” Cockroft said. “I understand the struggles that Oklahomans will be facing because of these tuition hikes.”
On the other hand, Cockroft said many salaries in the higher education system appear outsized, including the amount paid to Chancellor Glen Johnson, making it difficult for those officials to understand the impact of their actions.
“It saddens me that the individual who recommended these significant tuition increases has no idea of the hardships ordinary Oklahomans are facing,” Cockroft said. “Chancellor Johnson makes almost $400,000 a year.”

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cockroft Column: Summer Update

    We are nearing a month since the legislative session wrapped up in Oklahoma City, and I have spent that time with my wife on speaking engagements across the country and some much needed rest on family vacation. The saying, “There’s no place like home!” is very true though, and I’m ready to get back into the swing of things here in District 27. As I look over the session and these several hectic months I can’t help but feel a great sense of accomplishment. Not from the things I have done, but at the great strides Oklahoma has taken in that short time. There are definitely many things that need further work and greater attention in key areas of government, but I believe we are moving in the right direction.
     As I go back to my real job in the heat and air industry this summer, I can promise you that I will also be working tirelessly to represent you to the best of my ability as I work towards the next legislative session. I will continue to fight for individual liberties and protecting each of our freedoms. Making sure you keep more of your hard earned money and that state government takes a step back will always be constant goals for me. Making sure our businesses run efficiently without fear of government intrusion, our rural schools are safe from overreaching mandates and can have local control, and that your voice is heard are all reasons why I am here to serve you.
    I have so enjoyed getting better acquainted with so many of you over these past months and look forward to deepening those relationships for years to come. I’m excited about going to so many events this summer and meeting many more of you! Of course there are events such as the McLoud Blackberry Festival in July, Tecumseh’s Frontier Days in August, and all the Pink Indian Taco Dinners that I will be at, but there will be numerous town council meetings and other community events I will make sure and attend. Please don’t hesitate to drop by or grab me and introduce yourself. As always, if there is ever any way that I can help you, please let me know. That’s what I’m here for!
    Make sure to keep track of all of my happenings on my frequently-updated blog: Follow me on Twitter: @VoteCockroft27 and @joshcockroft. Friend me on Facebook: Friends of Cockroft for OK State House. Call me at (405)557-7349, or email me at:
    May God richly bless you this summer! Stay cool!