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Legislative Leadership

Written by Dick Pryor on Wednesday February 29, 2012

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The Sheet

February 19, 2012

Comity is scarce in Washington, D.C., but it's alive and well among the leaders at the top in Oklahoma's legislature. Case in point: this week's Oklahoma Forum program. Where Congressional leaders seemingly cannot miss an opportunity to take a stab at their counterparts across the aisle, Oklahoma's legislative leadership continues to show how to disagree without being disagreeable.

In fact, while our guests Speaker of the House Kris Steele, House Minority Leader Scott Inman, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Clark Jolley, and Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage are respectful and cordial on the program, they are even more engaging off-air. I have been doing this a long time and I continue to be surprised (perhaps I shouldn't be any longer) at the way Oklahoma's House and Senate leaders interact...respectfully. Call it the new "Oklahoma Standard."

Now, we all realize the caucuses can get rowdy and partisan politics can be very sharp, especially in an election year, but the leadership here appears to maintain an even keel in dealing with those on the other side of the aisle. Among the items to be decided this session are the state budget, corrections reform, water issues, state income tax and credits, supplemental appropriations and some "social issues" such as personhood, abortion, open carry and the like.

So, this discussion sets the tone for the weeks ahead, and while it is turbulent under the surface and will get even bumpier as the days go by, we hope you will get an idea of what Oklahoma's House of Representatives and Senate will be dealing with in 2012. We plan to get a mid-session progress report in a few weeks. Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Dick Pryor

(Pictured above, left to right:  Host Dick Pryor, Speaker of the House Kris Steele, House Minority Leader Scott Inman, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Clark Jolley, Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage)


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