The first session of the 55th Oklahoma legislature will convene on February 2nd at 12:00 noon and the state’s legislators will begin deliberating over this year’s issues. This legislative session I will be aggressively pushing a common sense conservative agenda focused on the serious issues in our state. During the entire interim, I have been working, communicating, and consulting with constituents and am now ready to get to work moving our state forward. As I have done every year I have been in office, I am releasing my agenda for your viewing as we begin the legislative process.
My legislative focus will be centered around five core areas. I’ve outlined each of the measures below:
State Government Efficiency and Effectiveness
I have filed House Bill 1275, which couples election dates for school boards and municipalities. This will save tax dollars while encouraging greater voter participation in historically low-turnout races. My House Bill 1285 will prohibit agencies from increasing fees without proper justification and disclosure. My House Bill 1286 will require state agencies to develop contingency plans for times when the federal government makes funding reductions. My House Bill 1287 sets up an online presence for making Open Record requests. Two other reforms I will pursue are a constitutional amendment to make Oklahoma Supreme Court justices subject to a vote of the people and the creation of an Oklahoma Federal Funds Commission to study the state’s financial stability and dependency on the federal government.
Public Safety and County Government
My House Bill 1276 updates current Oklahoma bomb squad statutes with clearer intent language and equips law enforcement to better prevent terrorist activities. My House Bill 1284 enables law enforcement to contract out mental health transports, saving resources and funds. My House Bill 1279 revises county government purchasing procedures. My House Bill 1278 promotes and provides aftercare services to juvenile offenders aging out of the Office of Juvenile Affairs. My House Bill 1288 authorizes road service vehicle companies to use certain flashing lights on road service vehicles.
Energy and Regulatory Services
House Bill 1277 will create a state fund that uses existing oil and gas taxes to create CNG infrastructure within county vehicle fleets. House Bill 1282 provides safety guidelines for CNG infrastructure and equipment. Finally, House Bill 1283 provides guidelines for distribution of CNG, LNG, and gasoline products. It is intended to prevent federal overreach.
Child Services and Procedures
House Bill 1280 sets requirements for the Department of Human Services to follow when taking complaints towards child care facilities. It will saves funds and resources and streamline complaint procedures. I also filed House Bill 1281, which provides procedures for establishing scholarships for Child Development Associate and Child Care Professionals, thus removing federal oversight.
Protection of Human Life
Finally, I filed House Bill 1289, which creates the Protection of Human Life Act and prohibits embryonic stem cell research within Oklahoma.
Despite the challenges we face as a state, I remain optimistic for our future. We face financial struggles and policy changes which could change the direction of our state. However, I believe conservative values and policies are what have worked, are working, and will continue to work in the future. It is a dependency on Almighty God and a steadfastness in the beliefs which have brought us here that will continue to make Oklahoma a shining beacon for others to see. We must set the example.
It is an honor to serve you. It matter not if you are Republican, Democrat, or Independent; I am here to serve you. Please visit my policy blog at www.RepJoshCockroft.blogspot.com. Communication is important to me. I want to know how to I can better serve and lead for our district and our state. I am always a phone call away at: (405) 557-7349. You can also email me at: Josh.Cockroft@okhouse.gov.