State Sen. Jim Reynolds has submitted his resignation from the State Legislature, effective July 1. Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, will begin his first term as Cleveland County Treasurer the first week of July after winning the post in the November 2010 election. Reynolds has represented the people of Cleveland and Oklahoma counties in Senate District 43 since 2000.
“I am thankful to God, my family and friends who believed in me when I chose to run for office 11 years ago, and to the people of Senate district 43 who gave me the opportunity to represent them,” Reynolds said.
“Early in my career a family friend approached my father asking him to persuade me on a particular issue. After much prodding, my father simply said, ‘No I won’t tell Jim how he should vote. He will do the right thing.’ Those words were the basis and challenge for me during my Senate career. Simply do the right thing, let my word always be true,” Reynolds said.
This session was a great ending to Reynolds’ career. His 11 year effort to curtail property tax growth is now close to reality. In the next general election the voters of Oklahoma will have the opportunity to curb future tax assessments by up to 40% thanks to legislation he authored. In addition, Reynolds authored legislation to simplify financial reporting requirements for counties. SB 130, which was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin, will save Cleveland County alone an estimated $750,000.
Reynolds worked on various issues throughout his career, leading efforts to provide non- emergency stretcher transportation during his first year in office. He also championed victims’ rights, winning passage for “Taylor’s Law” requiring courts to allow immediate family members of a murder victim to wear photo buttons of their loved one in the courtroom.
“Most of the issues I’ve worked on throughout my career were from constituents’ walking into my office with a problem and nowhere to turn,” Reynolds said. “Legislation like Taylor’s Law will never apply to most people, but for those seeking justice for a loved one, it means the world,” Reynolds said.
Among the most profound experiences he had in the Senate was his work with the survivors of the USS Oklahoma, spearheading what became a national effort to secure a permanent memorial at Pearl Harbor. “Working with Ed Vezey and Paul Goodyear, heroes by all accounts, changed the direction of my career”. Reynolds went on to chair the Veterans and Military Affairs committee the last five years.
“It isn’t an exaggeration to say that many of the causes I’ve taken on these past eleven years have been nothing short of life-changing. It is simply a privilege to be in a position to help people,” Reynolds said. “I will always be thankful for these years as I look forward to beginning my service as Treasurer for the people of Cleveland County.”