The Senate Republican Rural Caucus said the 2011 legislative session was extremely successful. On Friday, Rural Republicans announced their agenda accomplishments and expressed enthusiasm for the productive year that will expand their vision for improving the quality of life in rural Oklahoma.
We are extremely pleased with the agenda accomplishments this year, said Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha and Chair of the rural caucus. Our caucus not only played a major role in overall success of the entire Republican caucus, but we were able to secure the priorities for rural Oklahoma that we had announced.
Rural Caucus Agenda victories include:
Protected agricultural tax exemptions
Successfully directed motor vehicle taxes and fees to the improvement of county roads and bridges in the general appropriations budget
Protected private property rights
Protected rural fire departments from cuts to operational grant funding
Enhanced access to rural hospitals and healthcare facilities by securing additional funding through the supplemental hospital offset payment program
Funded and secured the REAP program
In light of a very difficult year for budget concerns and funding, we were able to secure resources for our priorities such as the REAP program and county road and bridge funding, said Justice. Rural hospitals will remain open and access to healthcare facilities in rural Oklahoma has been improved.
The Senate Republican Rural Caucus is made up of 17 senators from across the state who represent the best interest of those outside the metropolitan areas. Rural caucus members include:
Sen. Mark Allen, Spiro; Sen. Patrick Anderson, Enid; Sen. Don Barrington, Lawton; Sen. Brian Bingman, Sapulpa; Sen. Josh Brecheen, Coalgate; Sen. Harry Coates, Seminole; Sen. Kim David, Wagoner; Sen. Eddie Fields, Wynonna; Sen. John Ford, Bartlesville; Sen. Jim Halligan, Stillwater; Sen. Rob Johnson, Kingfisher; Sen. Ron Justice, Chickasha; Sen. Bryce Marlatt, Woodward; Sen. David Myers, Ponca City; Sen. Mike Schulz, Altus; Sen. Frank Simpson, Springer and Sen. Anthony Sykes, Moore.