In just a short few weeks Oklahoma legislators will be heading to the capitol to begin the 2019 legislative session.
A group of Oklahoma lawmakers gathered for “Eggs and Issues” designed for the community to listen to representatives speak about what they expect as the 2019 legislative session draws near.
“Part of me being transparent and you know we work for the people so I always try to do this and take lot of notes and it’s good to hear from your constituents,” says Josh West, Oklahoma Representative District 5.
West, who represents Delaware and Mayes counties, says prior to the session, about 3000 bills were filed in Oklahoma and next week they will begin assigning them to committees. Some of the biggest issues they will work on include education, rural hospitals, and the Department of Human Services.
“If you look at 2016 there was a state question on the ballot state question 780 and state question 781 and that had to do with our drug laws..if a person were arrested today for the same drug offense they would not be in prison..so we have a lot of people in prison for past drug offenses that wouldn’t be in prison today,” says Josh West.
West says the committee is looking at individuals who are staying in prison and looking at retrodating the question to lower populations in prison. For many community members they are grateful for the opportunity to voice their concerns.
“I think just seeing how teachers are fleeing the state because of the fact that they can’t make a living wage,” says Frank Janiga.
West adds the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a mid and post session to help keep the public up to date with ongoing issues.