LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Legislative Session is over for 2019, and local lawmakers share their thoughts on how it went.
Both Representative Daniel Pae and Representative Trey Caldwell had the chance to experience their very first session.
“It was a roller coaster ride to say the least. We had a lot of legislation that we considered and certainly when we adjourned it felt like the end of a semester," said Rep. Pae.
“It’s like going to college and majoring in everything. There was a big learning curve, but luckily I was able to buckle down and get to work," said Rep. Caldwell
Rep. Pae said he hit the ground running this session, authoring four laws, including raising speed limit to 80 on some Oklahoma turnpikes.
“The PaeWay bill will be the main highlight of portfolio for this session,” said Rep. Pae.
Senator Paul Scott says this session had it’s up and it’s downs, but he says helping put money back in the classrooms was a big accomplishment.
He said he’s also excited about the extra 200 million heading into the state’s savings account.
“Maybe oil and gas, or our economy goes down then we won’t have to make those drastic cuts like we did last time,” said Sen. Scott.
While this session may be over, these state officials will spend this summer figuring out what the main focus will be for 2020.
“Possible Medicaid expansion, look at our rural health care, see what’s good for Oklahoma,” said Sen. Scott.
“I hope we can continue dialogue on cost of living adjustments for our retired state employees. That’s one thing I wish we would’ve gotten across the finish line this session,” said Rep. Pae.
Another thing these legislators say defined this session was working with Governor Kevin Stitt, who was a novice to the Capitol in his own right.
“Multiple times, he’d poke his head in and ask how’s southwest OK, if there was anything he needed to know about Lawton, or Frederick or how’s Indiahoma doing, and he wasn’t just doing that with me, he was with everybody,” said Rep. Caldwell.
“He was out and about, very visible. That was a major plus, and that had never really happened before," said Sen. Scott.
Being back in southwest OK full time gives each of these legislators a chance to interact with the people in their district and receive some feedback.