Archive for the ‘Rep. Joe Dorman’ Category

Dorman Sponsors "Reintegration Facility" Legislation for Ex Prisoners

March 12, 2008

By Rep. Joe Dorman

I want to start the column this week by thanking Pastor Leon Shade and the congregation at First Baptist Church in Apache. I was invited to speak to the church on Sunday about prison ministry work and the problems we are facing with the corrections system here in Oklahoma. We have some great volunteers here in Oklahoma, such as Billie Ruth McDonald from Lawton who spend time inside the prison walls ministering to the inmates to help them find faith.

I’m carrying legislation (HCR 1008) to create a task force to look at establishing a “reintegration facility” here in Oklahoma. This would turn an existing facility into a place where inmates would go one year from release to learn how to survive outside the walls by taking life skills classes. This will cut down on recidivism and save money down the road by teaching them how to live a normal existence and not return to a life of crime.

This is a heavily debated issue where some people say we are being “soft on crime” by trying to prepare these convicts to learn how to live outside prison again and others saying that religious groups should not be involved in prison ministry work due to the separation of church and state. Both these arguments are silly in my opinion. Read more…

Rep. Dorman on This Week’s Legislation

February 19, 2008

By Rep. Joe Dorman

Last Friday, another piece of legislation that was of importance to the state was heard on the House floor. HB 3111 by Ron Peterson, R-Tulsa, would provide that any future insurance mandate passed by the legislature would require it to sit over for a minimum of two years, have an actuarial study paid for by an outside source to see how much insurance costs would rise and if passed within one year, require a 75% vote of the legislature rather than the simple majority. This bill, an attempt to reduce required coverage of such things as autism, colorectal screenings and assistance for Phenylketonuria (PKU), was passed 53 to 46. Two Republicans crossed over to join all 44 Democrats in voting against this bill.

I debated against this bill on several points. This legislation takes away the authority of legislators to determine in a year if one of these mandates is necessary. It is also under the assumption that we cannot make a decision that is not emotional on the subject of mandates. Another point is that an actuarial study done by an outside source (usually the insurance company) will not be unbiased as would something prepared by our House Staff. Read more…

Oklahoma Hunters May Soon be Hunting Bears

February 13, 2008

By Rep. Joe Dorman

OKLAHOMA CITY –To keep the bear population from increasing to dangerous amounts in Oklahoma, state Rep. Joe Dorman filed legislation to establish permitting guidelines for the state black bear hunting season

House Bill 3077, by Dorman, allows the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife (ODW) to sell a special black bear hunting license to be used during a specific time period or when the number of killed bears reaches a certain quota.

“There have been many complaints of these bears tearing into cabins to raid the food,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs. “These bears are large and can easily harm people and destroy property. We need to do what we can to control their population so they are not endangering people either camping or by causing increased wrecks by wandering on to the roads.” Read more…

" A Time of Hope & Optimism"

February 5, 2008

By Rep. Joe Dorman

On Monday, we saw the beginning of the second session of the 51st Oklahoma Legislature convene. It was a time of hope and optimism as Governor Brad Henry delivered the State of the State and called for his agenda to be implemented over the coming months by the House and Senate. Many of his programs were greeted with enthusiasm, while others were not as well received. I can already tell it is going to be a busy session with quite a bit of debate.

Of more importance to the internal workings of the House of Representatives, we elected our new Speaker to finish out this term. Rep. Chris Benge of Tulsa was voted in on a unanimous vote of the membership of the House. I’ve worked with Chris for many years and feel he will do a good job of cleaning up the problems we’ve seen with ethics over the past few months. Chris has been fair to the members as the Appropriations and Budget Chair and I feel he will be willing to work with all members despite their party affiliation. I wish him well and look forward to working with Speaker Chris Benge. Read more…

Rep. Dorman’s Thoughts on Cargill & The Speaker Position

January 29, 2008

By Rep. Joe Dorman

The office of Speaker used to be the most powerful political position in the state of Oklahoma. After the ouster of Jim Barker in 1989 and the passage of term limits, many younger members with no institutional memory and a great deal of ambition have been elected which has diminished the authority of the office of the Speaker. I have some of the longest-tenured knowledge of the House due to my years as a staff member before being elected, so I’ve seen many of the changes occur. Most of them have not been good since they have been politically driven due to no successful campaign finance or ethics reform.

One thing I will say is that I’m optimistic. Lance Cargill was known to be divisive and much like Tom Delay in Washington when it came to campaign finance scrutiny. Whoever succeeds him in this position has the chance to undo much of the harm that has been caused over the last year to the institution and work to bring about serious reforms in our first year of the second century. I promise you that I will do my part to help the new Speaker move Oklahoma towards a better future. Read more…

OKPNS Legislators’ Blog

May 31, 2007

By Rep. Joe Dorman

The legislative session ended this past Friday and now it’s time to sort through the piles that have stacked up. I had two bills go to the Governor and I’m still waiting for his signature on the bill dealing with firefighter training and funding, along with the creation of a controlled burn indemnity fund established through the Conservation Districts. I do not expect any problems from this bill since I never heard of any efforts to work against it. Every organized fire association, the conservation districts and the agricultural associations were all in support of this bill. Read more…

By Rep. Jason Murphey

The House of Representatives recently passed major legislation amending the ethics rules that govern the fundraising conduct of the campaigns of Oklahoma politicians. These reforms include a new limitation on lobbyists’ influence over elected officials. These ethics reforms were contained in House Bill 2210, sponsored by Lance Cargill, Speaker of the House.

Ethics reform is an issue about which I feel strongly. As an observer and participant in the political process, I have seen first hand how some ethics abuses are perpetrated. As a State Representative, I have also noticed how much influence lobbyists have over the legislative process. When I sought election to this office, I campaigned on a platform of ethics reform.

Read more…

OKPNS Legislators’ Blog

May 31, 2007

By Rep. Joe Dorman

The legislative session ended this past Friday and now it’s time to sort through the piles that have stacked up. I had two bills go to the Governor and I’m still waiting for his signature on the bill dealing with firefighter training and funding, along with the creation of a controlled burn indemnity fund established through the Conservation Districts. I do not expect any problems from this bill since I never heard of any efforts to work against it. Every organized fire association, the conservation districts and the agricultural associations were all in support of this bill. Read more…

By Rep. Jason Murphey

The House of Representatives recently passed major legislation amending the ethics rules that govern the fundraising conduct of the campaigns of Oklahoma politicians. These reforms include a new limitation on lobbyists’ influence over elected officials. These ethics reforms were contained in House Bill 2210, sponsored by Lance Cargill, Speaker of the House.

Ethics reform is an issue about which I feel strongly. As an observer and participant in the political process, I have seen first hand how some ethics abuses are perpetrated. As a State Representative, I have also noticed how much influence lobbyists have over the legislative process. When I sought election to this office, I campaigned on a platform of ethics reform.

Read more…

Legislators’ Blogging

May 23, 2007


House Votes to Secure Fire Funding

By Rep. Joe Dorman

Legislation that prevents the diversion of state money intended for firefighting service training is one vote away from the governor’s desk. House Bill 1520, creates the “Firefighter Training Revolving Fund.” The bill directs funding for firefighting programs through Oklahoma State University Fire Service Training, funneling the cash primarily through the State Fire Marshal Commission. The commission would be required to ensure the money is used for training programs as lawmakers intend. Read more…

Murphey Legislative Update

By Rep. jason Murphey

This week I was provided with a copy of the latest version of the proposed state budget also known as Senate Bill 334. This bill will contain the majority of the budget agreement recently reached between legislative leaders and the Governor.

The 45 page bill proposes to spend over 6.9 billion of our tax dollars as part of the fiscal year 2008 state budget. This budget will expand the size of state government base appropriations by $377 million dollars, or about 5.7% more than last year’s bas appropriation of 6.5 billion dollars. If you have read budget related news stories or caught the sound bytes on television, you may find this statement confusing. Read More…

A “Poison” in the Body Politic

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm

Hello again, everybody! A few weeks ago, I wrote of a “poison” being injected into the body politic.This poison is spreading, and, if left unchecked, this venom could threaten the ability of elected officials to find real solutions to the challenges we face. Threats, fear and intimidation are beginning to take the place of reasoned discussion, honest debate and good-faith efforts to find common ground on important issues.My positions on a pair of important though divisive issues have attracted anger from both extremes of the political spectrum. The two issues are the difficult and complex issues of tort reform and abortion. Read more…

Legislators’ Blogging

May 23, 2007


House Votes to Secure Fire Funding

By Rep. Joe Dorman

Legislation that prevents the diversion of state money intended for firefighting service training is one vote away from the governor’s desk. House Bill 1520, creates the “Firefighter Training Revolving Fund.” The bill directs funding for firefighting programs through Oklahoma State University Fire Service Training, funneling the cash primarily through the State Fire Marshal Commission. The commission would be required to ensure the money is used for training programs as lawmakers intend. Read more…

Murphey Legislative Update

By Rep. jason Murphey

This week I was provided with a copy of the latest version of the proposed state budget also known as Senate Bill 334. This bill will contain the majority of the budget agreement recently reached between legislative leaders and the Governor.

The 45 page bill proposes to spend over 6.9 billion of our tax dollars as part of the fiscal year 2008 state budget. This budget will expand the size of state government base appropriations by $377 million dollars, or about 5.7% more than last year’s bas appropriation of 6.5 billion dollars. If you have read budget related news stories or caught the sound bytes on television, you may find this statement confusing. Read More…

A “Poison” in the Body Politic

By Senator Jay Paul Gumm

Hello again, everybody! A few weeks ago, I wrote of a “poison” being injected into the body politic.This poison is spreading, and, if left unchecked, this venom could threaten the ability of elected officials to find real solutions to the challenges we face. Threats, fear and intimidation are beginning to take the place of reasoned discussion, honest debate and good-faith efforts to find common ground on important issues.My positions on a pair of important though divisive issues have attracted anger from both extremes of the political spectrum. The two issues are the difficult and complex issues of tort reform and abortion. Read more…

Open Door Policy

May 16, 2007

By Rep. Joe Dorman

The session is winding down to the conclusion as the Constitutional deadline of the last Friday in May approaches. I still have two pieces of legislation that I’ve been working through the system and they both look like they will make it through the process to the Governor. One bill deals with fire protections. This creates a controlled burn fund to allow for an insurance policy if a controlled burn on private property gets out of control and allows for assistance in creating a burn plan. This bill also incorporates the language from my previous legislation to assist our rural fire departments.

The other is a bill I assisted Senator Barrington with that will allow for right turns to be made from the shoulders on highways. This will allow those in the rural areas to essentially use the shoulder as a turn lane as a person approaches a turn they need to make to not back up traffic.

Though I’ve seen these successes, I have also seen some disappointments. We were working on language with several of the Ag groups to amend a previously-passed bill that would allow persons to retrieve their pet off private property should it get away. This was a highly-controversial bill that passed and we thought there was a good compromise with some new language, but the Senate author on this bill refused to hear the language. This effectively killed this idea for the rest of the year. If a pet should get away, you now have to contact the landowner before retrieving the pet or suffer the chance of prosecution for trespassing. This sounds like common sense, but so does running down a dog or cat that ran off by getting spooked. It’s a shame that these things can’t get resolved where everyone is in agreement. Read more…