Thursday, April 25, marked the Senate’s deadline for floor votes on measures that began in the House of Representatives — likewise, they also had to complete floor votes on the measures we sent over.

Many of those bills were sent to a committee but not heard, while others passed committees but did not receive a floor vote. It’s unlikely we’ll see those bills again this year, though they are still considered to be live rounds in that they could continue through the process next session.

Some bills may have been amended by the opposite chamber, but the chamber of origin rejected those changes. In those cases, the author can request a conference committee, giving them a chance to work out a compromise version they can bring back to the floor before the session ends. Work also continues on the 2020 fiscal year state budget, with intense negotiations taking place between leaders of the Senate, the House and with the governor’s office. Many areas of agreement have been identified.

I’m happy to report that my legislation dealing with a study of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer is on its way to the governor’s desk. Senate Bill 568 will facilitate a second five-year research project to be conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and will look at how the creation of wells or mines affects the aquifer, streams and springs. The data collected will be used to determine how best to manage the aquifer. SB 568 creates the mechanism to fund a study of the aquifer

The Arbuckle-Simpson is the only sensitive sole-source aquifer in Oklahoma, which means if anything happened, like contamination, a large part of Senate District 13 would be without a good option for drinking water.

As an update—my legislation dealing with pharmacy access continues to move through the legislative process. We actually have a couple of different bills dealing with the issue this session. My goal is to make sure Oklahomans have access to their local pharmacies, and that the insurance companies do not prevent pharmacists from giving customers accurate information about pricing and ways to obtain significant savings. It’s something that will benefit not only Oklahoman consumers but will also help our locally owned pharmacies.

I am honored to serve you 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 reach out to me by email at mccortney@oksenate.gov