Several Tulsa area representatives, including Rep. Mike Ritze, Rep. Dan Kirby, Rep. Weldson Watson, Rep. Michael Rogers and Rep. Jadine Nollan have been named to chair House committees in the upcoming session of the Oklahoma Legislature in February.
Other Tulsa legislators will be vice chairmen of committees. Here is a list of assignments for area lawmakers:
A&B Education Subcommittee:
Rep. Chuck Strohm, R-Jenks, vice chair
A&B General Government Subcommittee:
Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, vice chair
A&B Health Subcommittee:
Rep. Dale Derby, R-Owasso, vice chair
Banking, Financial Services & Pensions:
Rep. Scott McEachin, R-Tulsa, vice chair
Business, Commerce & Tourism:
Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, Chair
Children, Youth & Family Services:
Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa, vice chair
Rep. Michael Rogers, R-Broken Arrow, Chair
Energy & Natural Resources:
Rep. Weldon Watson, R-Tulsa, Chair
General Government Oversight & Accountability:
Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, vice chair
Health Services & Long-Term Care:
Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, vice chair
Higher Education & Career Tech:
Rep. Jadine Nollan, R-Sand Springs, Chair
Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, Chair
Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, vice chair
Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker-designate Charles A. McCall announced the first round of leadership appointments to serve during the 56th Legislature, naming the majority floor leader, majority whip, budget chair and majority leader.
“I am very excited about the choices we have made to lead the House in the coming years,” said McCall, R-Atoka. “Oklahoma voters gave Republicans the privilege of solving the state’s problems, and we take that very seriously. These members are talented, experienced and wise, and I am confident that we are ready to legislate in a deliberate, serious way.”
McCall named state Rep. Terry O’Donnell to serve as majority whip, a role responsible for assisting the floor leader and ensuring votes are in place and members in attendance.
The whip also serves as a sounding board for members who may have concerns about upcoming legislation and helps facilitate communication between membership during the legislative session. O’Donnell will also be mentoring the 25 new members of the House Republican Caucus and assisting them with their transition into the Legislature.
O’Donnell, a Tulsa attorney, previously served as vice chair of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee and as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
“One of the best aspects of serving in the Legislature is the relationships you make with lawmakers from all across this state and on both sides of the aisle,” said Rep. O’Donnell, R-Tulsa. “I enjoy solving problems, and I will enjoy the opportunity to interact with colleagues and promote a conservative agenda for Oklahoma that grows our economy and puts more money in the pockets of Oklahomans.”
McCall named state Rep. Jon Echols majority floor leader. McCall said Echols has the temperament and organizational skill to steer the House agenda.
Echols, an Oklahoma City attorney and small business owner, will be responsible for reviewing legislation, determining which bills will be heard on the House floor and running the day-to-day floor activity. Echols previously served as vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee and as an assistant majority whip.
“I am excited for the opportunity to work with this leadership team to create a conservative, pro-economic growth vision for the state of Oklahoma,” said Echols, R-Oklahoma City. “The challenge is to run the House in an efficient, open and transparent way that promotes trust among the members and keeps the Republican caucus unified. Our goal is to promote bold policy ideas that create jobs and make Oklahomans more prosperous and to make government more efficient and accountable to taxpayers.”
McCall tapped State Rep. Leslie Osborn to serve as chair of the House Appropriations & Budget (A & B) Committee. Osborn is the first Republican woman to lead the House budget committee, just as she was the first woman to lead the House Judiciary Committee in 2012. Osborn most recently served on the House A & B Committee and also served as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services.
“I am very grateful for this incredible opportunity to help shape our state’s budget and funding priorities,” said Osborn, R-Mustang. “Developing a budget is our biggest challenge in the Legislature every year. Like last year, we will be working with reduced revenues, but I believe we have real opportunities to prioritize spending and make our state government more efficient.
“Voters put their trust in Republicans to offer conservative and responsible solutions to these problems. We have already begun working on ideas, and we intend to bring in our top five appropriated agencies for extra scrutiny before the session begins. Oklahomans expect us to act as good stewards of their tax dollars, and we are going to do that.”
McCall named state Rep. Mike Sanders to serve as majority leader, an all-inclusive role that helps guide policy, communicate caucus initiatives to the public and steer the House agenda. Sanders has served as chair of the House Subcommittee on Transportation for the past four years, and previously served as a deputy majority whip.
“I am honored that Speaker McCall would ask me to take on this role,” said Rep. Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “I am so impressed by his leadership and vision for Oklahoma. I truly believe that we have a real opportunity this year to move Oklahoma forward, despite our challenges.”
In addition, McCall announced that state Representatives Katie Henke, R-Tulsa, and Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, have been appointed to serve as floor leaders, assisting Echols with running the day-to-day activities on the floor.