The Republicans held caucus to determine their pick for President Pro Tempore, for the next Legislature. Mike Schulz was tapped over Ralph Shortey and others.
Grassroots activists are encouraged to ask their senator who they supported and what commitments Senator Schulz has made, to bring more openness and reforms to the senate rules.
The senate has recently come under fire for allowing committee chairmen to wield dictatorial powers over the fate of legislation assigned to their committees. Of note is the reform bill to address severe problems with the Asset Forfeiture powers of law enforcement agencies. Senator Anthony Sykes has refused to give the bill a vote or even discussion. Some desire for committee chairmen to be voted upon by the senate body, rather than allowing the President Pro Tempore to appoint these offices in trade for other favors.
Senate Press Release: Oklahoma Senate Republicans’ Designate Senator Mike Schulz as Next Pro Tempore
The Democrat leader, John Sparks, sent this congratulatory letter:
“I want to extend my congratulations to Senator Mike Schulz for his election by his caucus as President Pro Tempore Designate of the State Senate,” Sparks said.
“It’s likely the tremendous budget difficulties facing Oklahoma this session will continue to present challenges for the next year or two. It is important for each of our caucuses to focus on finding solutions that will move our state forward while providing adequate resources for vital services like education, health, mental health, public safety and transportation.
“It is a pleasure serving with Senator Schulz, and I know he is dedicated to serving the people of his district and this state. I look forward to working with him in the next Legislature. On behalf of the members of my caucus, we offer our sincere congratulations.”
- Sen. John Sparks (D)