SEN. TOM DUGGER: Proud to promote agriculture | Opinion

We’ve just concluded the 10th week of the 2019 legislative session and have passed the April 11 deadline for Senate committees to consider bills sent over from the House of Representatives. At this point, we have two weeks left before the floor deadline for hearing bills sent over from the House.

While we’ve been focused on committee and floor votes the past couple of weeks, we also had an opportunity this month to celebrate Agriculture Day at the Capitol. Farming, ranching, agri-business, and agri-tourism are still major employers and economic drivers in Oklahoma. Agriculture is an important part of our present and past, and certainly important to this Senate District and Oklahoma State University.

I was very proud to help honor some students and teachers from the district for their help in promoting agriculture and agriculture education in our state. I gave citations of congratulations to Jodi Holland and Harley Justus from Richmond Elementary in Stillwater – both were named Ag in the Classroom Exceptional Teachers. Richmond second-grader Kara Wardlaw and fifth-grader Kate Wardlaw also received citations of congratulations for their awards in the Ag in the Classroom poster contest. Again, congratulations to these outstanding teachers and students.

Budget negotiations are still underway between the Senate, House and the Governor’s office, so even though the focus has been on getting bills from the opposite chamber through committee and off the floor, I’m hopeful we’ll start getting a clearer picture of the fiscal year 2020 budget fairly soon.

I think we are well on track for completing a highly productive session, and I am cautiously optimistic we may even be able to adjourn a little ahead of the constitutional deadline of 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May.

I thank you for the privilege of being your voice at the State Capitol. If you have any questions or concerns about legislation or other issues at the state level, please feel free to contact my office by calling 405-521-5572, or email [email protected].

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