Carl’s Capitol Comments: Session adjourns

By the time you read this, the first session of the 58th Legislature will have adjourned sine die. We’ll come back this fall for a brief special session to approve congressional redistricting plans once we receive final Census data. I also will be at the Capitol for some interim studies. But, I’m very much looking forward to being back home to the district and meeting with constituents.

My first interim public appearance was on Memorial Day, where I was asked to give a speech at Alva’s Memorial Day event. I spoke on what our American life might be like had members of our armed services not chosen to serve our nation or protect our freedoms. I’m certainly grateful for their selfless sacrifice. It is a debt we can never repay.

This was a productive session. I do have some concerns about passing the largest budget in state history – almost $9 billion. But we did grant some tax relief to individuals in this budget, and we did save some money to have in place in case of future economic downturns. I believe the revenue on which this budget was based showed that even during the pandemic, by keeping our state open, we were successful in moving our state forward.

We’ve made our state very attractive to multiple industries, and we were able to protect the needs of agriculture and other natural resources. We also delivered the largest education budget in state history.

There were other victories as well this session. We protected our Second Amendment rights, including passing a measure that names Oklahoma a Second Amendment Sanctuary State, free from any government attempt to confiscate or buy back firearms. We also passed bills protecting our religious freedoms even during future declared emergencies. We protected the 10th Amendment rights of our state with a bill that will allow us to examine and potentially litigate against any executive order or federal rule that we find to be unconstitutional. We also passed some important anti-abortion legislation that will protect many more of our unborn children.

Like I said, during the interim, we will be studying several issues important to all Oklahomans. One study will focus on the growing of medical marijuana. There’s been concern about the purchase of land by foreign entities, and we are looking into this so that we protect our local farmers and citizens. I also will host a study on corporate tax policies. Corporations that protest their taxes place undue burdens on some of our smaller schools, and I want to correct this issue.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for allowing me to serve you at the State Capitol.

You may reach me by email at carl.newton@okhouse.gov, or phone me at 405-557-7339.  May God Bless you and the State of Oklahoma.

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