As I look back on the 2019 legislative session, I am profoundly grateful for what has undoubtedly been the most productive session I’ve had the privilege of participating in since first coming to the Senate. We have been able to make important and much needed investments in every core area of government without any additional taxes this session.

We’ve built on the historic investment we made in our public schools, providing additional raises for teachers and more funds for the classroom that districts can use to meet the needs they prioritize. Our colleges, universities and career-tech centers will also receive additional funding.

We’ve made targeted investments in public safety, transportation infrastructure, health and mental health and in criminal justice reform efforts that will ultimately help us reduce prison overcrowding and actually reduce recidivism through programs and innovations that have already been proven to work in pilot programs in our state and on a wider scale in other states.

I am extremely pleased we were able to pass the necessary legislation to proceed with the second part of an extremely important study of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer. Another top priority for me was passing legislation that better protected the rights of Oklahoma consumers regarding prescription medication, giving them the ability to choose a local pharmacy rather than being forced to use one many miles away. We also addressed so-called gag rules that prohibited pharmacists from sharing cost-saving information with patients about their purchases.

After voters approved the state question legalizing the use of medical marijuana, the state was faced with a huge task of creating the necessary regulatory framework. We were starting with nothing and had only months to address extremely important concerns like product testing and safety requirements aimed at protecting the health of Oklahoma patients. I was honored to co-chair the joint working group charged with this task and help move this legislation through the process.

We also met all of our agenda goals for the session for the Senate Republican Caucus — agenda goals that truly will benefit all of the citizens of our state, including legislation to improve oversight and transparency, increase government accountability and build on our commitment to education and criminal justice.

Throughout the session, many groups and individuals from the district came to the state Capitol to visit about issues or advocate for their organizations or institutions. I want to again thank everyone who took the time to come by and share your views with me. I value your input and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be your voice in the Oklahoma State Senate.

If you have a question about a legislative matter, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 405-521-5541, or by email at mccortney@oksenate.gov