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Republican Caucus meeting

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Medicine Park, Okla._The Oklahoma Legislature's Republican caucus is underway right here in Southwest Oklahoma.

For the past couple of days, several members of the House leadership have taken over Medicine Park. Specifically, their Music Hall and some of the lodging in the cobblestone town.

It's the first time the meeting has been held in Southwest Oklahoma.

Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon of Lawton led a meeting of 72 Republican members of the House Monday afternoon.

Their focus was coming up with an agenda to help them lead Oklahoma.

"Of course fiscal cliff, we've been talking about that, we've been talking about state's rights. DHS issues, we've been talking about public safety, roads and bridges, I mean it runs the gamut from one end to the other," Representative of Duncan, Dennis Johnson, said.

 

Representative Johnson is one of two reps appointed majority leader by Representative Shannon, helping him delegate duties.

"The speaker of the house has an amazing amount of things to accomplish and this is one way we can help him expand his ability to get some things done and take some of the load off the speaker of the house," Johnson said. 

But while Monday was about shaping Oklahoma's future, for some members, it was also enjoying a piece of Oklahoma they rarely get to see. Representative of Tulsa Pam Peterson said,

"It's hot...but it's beautiful and I definitely want to come back here on a recreational basis. it's a beautiful location and I think you need to tell everybody about medicine park."

Peterson will serve as the next majority floor leader.

"kind of making sure the trains run on time on the house floor and calling up the bills and whole operation on the house floor," Johnson said.

Norman Representative Scott Martin, who is now head of the powerful appropriations and budget committee, is being called on to make sure the state's budget is the same way.

"We're entrusted with the taxpayers' dollars, so we have a high degree of responsibility that we're given and it's a noble effort that we go about every year to do. I'm very excited about what lies ahead, I know there will be challenges, but I'm confident thought that we can craft a budget...responsible, has to be balanced and can really serve the needs of our citizens," Martin said.

Members say it's more like a strategy, they all seem to be on the same page about. Representative of Cordell Todd Russ said, 

"It's exciting when you realize how, how many members and pretty much all of the caucus members of your party are headed in the same direction. we may have different ideas on how to get there, but we seem very unified."

Representative Peterson added,

"I think Oklahoma is in a good place right now to show the nation that we are an energized state of economic growth and we're moving in the right direction in Oklahoma." 

The republican caucus is scheduled to wrap up Tuesday. The next legislative session begins in February.

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