Senator Ron Justice
State Capitol Room 423
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 20, 2009
Sen. Ron Justice
REPUBLICAN RURAL CAUCUS IMPROVES QUALITY
OF LIFE IN RURAL OKLAHOMA
Caucus Celebrates Success of 2009 Rural Agenda
The Senate Republican Rural Caucus announced Tuesday
the accomplishments and advances made for Rural Oklahoma this
Justice, R-Chickasha, Chairman of the Republican Rural Caucus
commended his fellow caucus members for working together to achieve
a quality reform policy agenda.
“At the beginning of this legislative session,
our Rural Caucus laid out a vision for improving rural Oklahoma
and protecting the resources and assets that are vital to the
well being of our citizens and our state’s economic development
and job growth,” said Justice. “By working together
in a tight budget year, we were able to accomplish each one of
our agenda items that strengthen rural Oklahoma.”
Along with the many reforms accomplished this session,
the Republican Rural Caucus worked to ensure the Rural Economic
Action Plan (REAP) would be funded. Justice added that funding
REAP was vital because the success and livelihood of Rural Oklahoma
directly affects our entire state.
The Senate Republican Rural Caucus worked diligently
this session to carry out their 2009 policy agenda.
• The Rural Caucus sought to increase funding
for the improvement of county roads and bridges which was accomplished
through stimulus money being directed towards transportation.
Many areas of the state will receive road money, strengthening
Oklahoma’s public safety. Senate Bill 832 by Senator Brian
Bingman, R-Sapulpa, provides for the repair of obsolete and structurally
deficient county bridges. This legislation is awaiting the Governor’s
• The Rural Caucus vowed to protect private
property rights, and this was completed through legislation by
Senator Ron Justice, R-Chickasha and Senator Mike Schulz, R-Altus.
House Bill 1482 (Justice) protects farmers and ranchers from nuisance
actions if the farm or ranch has been in place for 2 years or
more. House Bill 2154 (Schulz) strengthens penalties for trespassing
on certain lands and is on the Governor’s desk for his approval.
• The Rural Caucus helped make Oklahoma’s
trucking permit system more efficient. House Bill 2054 by Senator
Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, allows the Department of Public Safety
to issue an annual vehicle permit for the movement of oversize
and overweight loads that cannot be reasonably dismantled. This
legislation allows us to stop clogging the permit office to get
loads every single day, making the system more efficient.
• The Rural Caucus improved the access to
healthcare professionals and facilities by passing House Bill
1127 by President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, which
continues the service of the OSU Medical Center in Tulsa. With
the continual shortage of doctors and other medical professionals
in Oklahoma, this legislation assures health care access for rural
Oklahomans statewide. Additionally, Tort Reform legislation in
House Bill 1603 by Pro Tem Coffee was passed that will also improve
health care access, as well as attract doctors to our state and
assure small business’ health and viability in the state.
• The Rural Caucus worked to enhance access
to ambulance and fire services in rural Oklahoma. Senate Bill
1166 by Senator Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, will stabilize and even
enhance Oklahoma’s 911 system. Senate Bill 1166 has now
been sent to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.
• The Rural Caucus succeeded in reauthorizing
the previous bond funding for the conservation structures, with
the bonds set to be sold in June. The Conservation Commission
Bonds consist of $25 million that will go towards repairs on structures
like flood-control dams throughout rural Oklahoma.
• The Rural Caucus protected agricultural
tax exemptions to ensure agricultural productions and contributions
will effectively continue throughout our state.
• In a tight budget year, the Rural Caucus
also succeeded in protecting public schools from forced consolidation
and ensured they would receive enough funds to avoid budget cuts
this year. Continuing to supply quality education to rural Oklahoma
will always remain a priority of the Rural Caucus.
The Senate Republican Rural Caucus was formed under President
Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee’s leadership in 2005 when the Republicans
were in the minority party.
The Republican Rural Caucus is made up of 13 members: Senators
Ron Justice of Chickasha, District 23; Patrick Anderson of Enid,
District 19; Don Barrington of Lawton, District 31; Jim Halligan
of Stillwater, District 21; Harry Coates of Seminole, District
28; John Ford of Bartlesville, District 29; Brian Bingman of Sapulpa,
District 12; Mike Johnson of Kingfisher, District 22; Todd Lamb
of Edmond, District 47; Bryce Marlatt of Woodward, District 27;
David Myers of Ponca City, District 20; Mike Schulz of Altus,
District 38; Anthony Sykes of Newcastle, District 24. The purpose
of the Republican Rural Caucus is to provide a voice for the citizens
of rural, small town Oklahoma and promote their issues at the
For more information contact:
Sen. Justice's Office - 405-521-5537