Senate Review: Final week to approve policy
We’re now approaching the final week to approve policy measures during this legislative session. Last week, we approved about 120 of the 330 eligible measures from the House, so we’ll be working this week to hear and vote on the remainder of these bills before our April 22 deadline.
Once we pass this deadline, our focus will shift to the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. While we’ve been working on it all year, these discussions will ramp up as legislative leaders finalize state spending for the next year.
I’m sure none of you have forgotten the devastating impacts of February’s historic winter storm. I know I’m reminded every time I check my calves and see frostbitten ears and tails. The Senate and House took action this past week to pass two measures that will help Oklahomans with their energy bills and reduce the fallout from the storm.
These measures will address the price spike and ensure Oklahomans aren’t charged thousands of dollars on a bill by spreading the increased costs, which are passed directly to the consumer from the energy companies, out over a course of 10 years by using bonds and other financing.
Without any action, a normal rate-regulated gas bill that’s typically around $100 would be about $2,000 after the storm. The next month’s bill would be about $1,200, and then the following few months would stairstep down after that. We know this astronomical price is just not doable for the vast majority of Oklahoma families, my own included. With the legislation we passed, the expected increase on a monthly gas bill is only about $10 per month.
April is Military Kids Month, and I was honored to present a resolution on the Senate floor last week designated April 15 as Purple Up! For Military Kids Day in Oklahoma. Our military families endure a lot to ensure our country’s safety, and the sacrifice of our military kids is often overlooked. I was proud to bring attention to this very important matter on the Senate floor.
I enjoyed spending time with the military kids and their families at Vance Air Force Base this past week honoring Military Kids Month. I was able to present the Senate Concurrent Resolution that was adopted by my colleagues and personally thank many of the children for the sacrifice they make.
Thank you for allowing me to be your voice at our state Capitol. Please feel free to reach out if there is anything we can help you with. You can contact me at 405-521-5630 or via email at Roland.Pederson@oksenate.gov.