It has been a very busy first six weeks. It is truly an honor to serve House District 25.

I’ve heard it said that as a freshman in the Legislature, it is like being a freshman in college, but you are majoring in everything. I have found that to be true. From learning the committee process to understanding the meaning of phrases like “strike the title,” “Do Pass,” “a friendly amendment,” “an untimely amendment,” “I would like to lay this bill over,” “point of order” — I could go on, but I think you get the picture!

It has been challenging, but it’s a challenge I’ve enjoyed.

The first four weeks in the House was dedicated to presenting bills in committees and passing bills out of committee to be voted on by the House on the floor. The last two weeks have been spent all day, some late into the night, on the floor of the House, hearing, questioning and debating bills to pass on to the Senate. Now, the process begins again by hearing the bills that have gone through the same process in the Senate and are now in the House.

I was honored to have two bills passed through the House. Last session, an amendment was added onto a bill to require schools to report threatening language from students to law enforcement, but it needed further clarification and definitions as to what threats rise to the level of calling law enforcement. Attorneys from CCOSA, OSSBA and the State Department of Education worked closely on the language to ensure that serious threats would be reported and addressed, but law enforcement would not need to use their resources to look into every lesser or unserious instance of threatening words or behaviors. HB 1065 takes care of that. The bill calls for reporting to law enforcement any verbal threat or act of threatening behavior, whether or not it is directed at another person, which reasonably indicates that students, school personnel or school property are at actual and imminent risk of harm.

HB 1300 is a bill to help ODOT. HB 1330 increases the acreage of property that can be directly offered to the sole abutting landowner from one acre and less to three acres and less of surplus property without going through the bidding auction process. We have quite a few properties that are three acres or less, with several that have no legal or physical access except through the sole abutting landowner. This will potentially get properties back on the tax roll quicker, which helps cities and counties economically. It will also save ODOT time, money and resources through less mowing and maintenance, along with shortening the disposal process. We believe more people would acquire these lands if given the ability to accept an offer rather than going through the sealed bid auction process we are required to use by law.

I now have three Senate bills, entrusted to me by Sen. McCortney, to get through the House. He is also my Senate author on HB 1330. It’s nice to have a senator to work closely with for the betterment of our area. Evidently, that is not always the case. So, thank you, Sen. McCortney for assisting and helping me to get adjusted.

I’ve also had the privilege of having three pages at the Capitol. Bree Coyle, Sadee Crowder (who was elected governor of Pageville) and Winston Brown (who was one of the pages of the week). They represented District 25 very well. Thank you again to the voters of District 25 for giving me the opportunity to serve as your representative.

Contact Rep. Ronny Johns at 405-557-7336, or by email at ronny.johns@okhouse.gov. Stop by room 329A to visit Rep. Ronny Johns at the Oklahoma State Capitol.