OKLAHOMA CITY- In week four, we have been hard at work here at the Capitol.  After the first three weeks were spent in hearing and passing bills out of committees, we are now at work hearing those bills that passed out of committee on the Senate Floor.

I was able to have six bills passed on the Floor this week. 

I consider it a tremendous honor to be your voice at the State Capitol and it is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

I am proud to have voted on hundreds of measures last year and this year that will improve the lives of all Oklahomans. 

On every vote that I make, I thoughtfully consider what is in the best interest of my district and this state.

My votes are also reflective of the family values that we hold dear in our area of the state and I listen carefully to the input of people in my district.

 Through my service at the Capitol, I have learned that there are special interest groups who are out of touch with the values that most Oklahomans hold dear and who will go to extreme lengths to attack those of us with conservative viewpoints.  However, I had no idea the length to which a small faction of liberal extremists wishing to promote their personal agenda would go to misrepresent a vote I made to grow Oklahoma’s economy.

Disagreement on important issues is always healthy for our democracy, but it requires that both sides stick to the facts to find common ground. If we lose site of the facts, we can never find truth.

Every decision I make as your senator – every decision every elected official makes – is open for discussion, which brings me to something that happened this week.

Many of you may have had flyers placed on your cars questioning my vote on a bill that was among the tax cuts passed last year targeted to help middle class families, disabled veterans, and businesses creating jobs – including businesses right here in Senate District 13. 

Several individuals – virtually anonymous and apparently from the Oklahoma City area – expended considerable time, energy, and money on this effort.

They traveled hours from their homes to skulk through downtowns placing flyers detailing their version of the bill on your vehicles. I am one of several conservative legislators who have been targeted in such a manner.

The thrust of the flyer was that one of the tax cuts was for a company with which they apparently have a disagreement.

House Bill 1588, the bill in question, is a tax cut encouraging the drilling of deep gas wells by many companies in our state. This bill passed with overwhelming support in both houses of the legislature.

Deep drilling is necessary to reach natural gas reserves that otherwise might go untapped. This drilling is worthy of special tax incentives because deep wells are expensive; however, they generate six times the economic impact of shallow wells.

That means the deep gas well companies employ six times the people during drilling. Those people stay and work primarily in rural communities, buying goods and services that help create opportunities small towns might not have otherwise. Six times the boost to local economies is worthy of incentives, as is six times the revenue flowing into state coffers.

As we face the daily reality of losing thousands of jobs in Oklahoma without tax incentive packages in a variety of industries, this is exactly the kind of economic activity we need. This is how we keep Oklahoma’s economy growing and prospering, as we are currently.

Ours is not the only state with deep gas reserves; however, this tax incentive ensures deep drilling activity is focused on Oklahoma. In my book, that is good news for every family in this state.

Rest assured the vote I made on this bill had nothing to do with the motivation behind this liberal special interest group’s attack of my voting record.

Their attack occurred because of my deep belief in preserving traditional values that most Oklahomans, especially in my Senate District, feel are an important part of making Oklahoma an even greater place to live, work, and raise a family.  The fact that the group whose name is listed on the flyer has no contact information is proof positive that this is a group who wishes to remain faceless.

We live in a time when there is much “spin” in regard to the legislative process. I am always accountable to my constituents. I encourage you to give input on issues of importance to you and to ask questions when you need clarification on an issue. Good communication between us will allow me to be a successful voice on your behalf.

Thanks again for reading my “Senate Review.” You may contact my Senate office at the Capitol by calling (405) 521-5541 or email me with your concerns at paddack@oksenate.gov

Thank you for the honor of being your voice in the Oklahoma State Senate.  May God bless you all. 

 

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