Over 100 new restrooms added to state parks

Sen. Bill Coleman

Work on congressional redistricting continues. Again, to make this process as open and transparent as possible, we’ve held several town hall meetings and are planning a couple more.

Video of the meetings is archived on both the Oklahoma Senate and House websites. We’ll also be accepting public map submissions through Oct. 10. Submissions can only be made by Oklahoma citizens, and it’s limited to one submission per person. Each map must include a statewide plan for all five congressional districts. More details about submissions are available on the House website at www.okhouse.gov under “documents.”

Submissions can be sent via email at redistricting@oksenate.gov or to the House at redistrictingoklahoma2020@okhouse.gov. We’ll also be holding a joint redistricting committee meeting on Oct. 18 to allow the public to present their maps as well. 

Although we approved the legislative redistricting maps during session, we are reviewing those again since we received the final Census numbers this month. Another virtual town hall meeting will be held on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. to ensure continued public transparency.

We know some House districts will definitely need to be adjusted, but we’ll know more in the coming weeks. Those changes will then need to be approved in the special session this fall when we meet to finalize the congressional districts.

Again, if you have any questions or comments on either the legislative or congressional redistricting process, you can submit those at redistricting@oksenate.gov.

We were so pleased to welcome Governor Kevin Stitt to Ponca City on Aug. 17. It was his second stop in his 2021 Top Ten Traveling Cabinet Tour, and local citizens got to visit with some of our state’s top leaders about issues important to our community as well as this part of the state. The group visited Ponca City High School where they met members of the cross country and football teams, and they also got to see the school concert hall. They toured the Phillips 66 refinery where they learned that this one refinery can produce a lifetime supply of gas for one person in just 11 minutes. Very impressive. The group also stopped by the beautiful Marland Mansion. While I wasn’t able to attend the tours, it was a pleasure getting to interview Governor Stitt on the phone.

I was pleased that Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell was able to stop by the studio for a live interview. He talked about tourism, including the more than 100 new restrooms that have been added to our beautiful state parks. This has been an important addition that visitors have been requesting, so the Department of Tourism was so glad to be able to finally meet that need.

He also discussed the importance of the Highway 60 Corridor for tourism, which passes through Ponca City, Pawhuska, and Bartlesville. The new corridor helps draw visitors to these beautiful communities and all the great things they have to offer. We also discussed the importance of the governor’s cabinet tour to help communities share their needs with state leaders, but also get to showcase and brag on their local businesses and economic successes.

I was also looking forward to attending the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce gala last Saturday. This is always a wonderful event.

In other legislative news, interim studies will be starting in September. The schedules are available on the Senate and House websites, and the meetings will be streamed live online as well. Any handouts or presentations will be available online after each meeting concludes. If there is an issue being studied that you have expertise in or personal experience with, feel free to share your input with the senator who requested the study or the chair of the committee that will be conducting the study.

While I didn’t request any studies this year, as the vice chair, I’ll be attending those assigned to the Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

With so much happening at the Capitol this fall, I encourage you to sign up for our Senate press releases on our homepage at www.oksenate.gov, and you can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @oksenate. 

You can contact me by calling (405) 521-5581 or emailing Bill.Coleman@oksenate.gov.