Over the course of my public career, I’ve taken part in dozens of Memorial Day ceremonies. I’ve listened to the solemn tributes paid to those who made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for our freedoms. I’ve heard stories of their valiant service and poignant memories shared by those who loved them. I’m always touched by the sadness that comes from wondering how life would be different had they continued to live among us.
Lifestyle & Opinions
While the state’s constitution mandates that Legislators must complete their work no later than 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May, we completed action on bills before that deadline. It was certainly the most unusual one any of us have ever seen, as we moved from daily committee and session meetings to virtual meetings via platforms like Zoom, Teams, as well as phone calls, emails and texts to keep working remotely.
Last Sunday our nation observed Memorial Day in the midst of a global pandemic that has roiled the entire globe.
The way we all conduct business has changed due to COVID-19, with millions finding themselves without a stable income. Just last week, Oklahomans filed more than 68,000 jobless claims with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) during the week ending May 2.
The House in early May passed a $7.7 billion general appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2021. The governor first vetoed three of the appropriations bills that supported the budget. When those bills got overridden with votes in the House of 97-3, 95-5 and 94-4, he vetoed the entire budget. In what was perhaps the fastest veto override in state history, the House overrode his veto within hours of it being filed. The budget is now law.