(Oklahoma City) When the next Oklahoma Legislature convenes, the State Senate will have a new leadership team and a streamlined committee system.
Senate President Pro Tempore elect Cal Hobson announced the changes Thursday, saying the new Senate will be ready to hit the ground running after new members are sworn in on November 19th.
"I'm fortunate to have so many talented members in the State Senate. We will be facing some very difficult issues in the months to come and their experience and skill will be invaluable," said Sen. Hobson (D-Lexington).
Sen. Hobson was selected by majority party members to lead the Senate earlier this year. Although he won't officially be elected to the pro tem post until the 2003 legislature holds its organizational day in January, he has already begun to assume many responsibilities and duties that come with the Senate's top job, such as appointing leadership positions and committee chairs.
Sen. Ted Fisher (D-Sapulpa) will serve as Senate majority leader. Sen. Angela Monson (D-Oklahoma City), Sen. Gilmer Capps (D-Snyder) and Sen. Herb Rozell (D-Tahlequah) will act as assistant majority leaders. Sen. Keith Leftwich and Sen. Sam Helton will be majority whips. Sen. Maxine Horner will serve as majority caucus chair.
On the budget front, Sen. Mike Morgan (D-Stillwater) will serve as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Ben Robinson (D-Muskogee) will act as vice-chairman.
Sen. Stratton Taylor (D-Claremore) will hold the title of Senate President Pro Tempore Emeritus. Taylor, the outgoing Senate leader, has served as president pro tem for the last eight years.
In order to streamline and improve the committee process, Sen. Hobson also announced the consolidation of several standing Senate committees. The Senate Economic Development Committee, Senate Small Business Committee and Senate Deregulation Committee were merged to create a new Senate Commerce Committee. The tourism and wildlife panels were also merged to create a new Senate Tourism and Wildlife Committee. One new committee was created the Senate Aerospace and Technology Committee.
Senate Standing Committees and ChairsAerospace & Technology
Senate Appropriations Committee
Chairman, Sen. Mike Morgan (D-Stillwater)
Vice-chairman, Sen. Ben Robinson (D-Muskogee)
Sen. Herb Rozell (D-Tahlequah)
General Government and Transportation
Sen. Keith Leftwich (D-Oklahoma City)
Public Safety & Judiciary
Sen. Dick Wilkerson (D-Atwood)
Sen. Rick Littlefield (D-Grove)
Health & Social Services
Sen. Ben Robinson (D-Muskogee)
Sen. Robert Kerr (D-Altus)
Sen. Daisy Lawler (D-Comanche)