House and Senate members take oaths of office for the Fifty-fifth Oklahoma State Legislature
Published: November 18th, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – At the state Capitol, Friends, family and supporters looked on as newly elected and reelected members of the Oklahoma State Senate took the oath of office on Tuesday (November 18) in the Senate chamber. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, President of the Senate, presided over the ceremony. The oath was administered by the Honorable John Reif, Chief Justice-Elect of the Supreme Court.
New members taking the oath of office were Marty Quinn, R-Claremore; Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow; Roger Thompson, R-Okemah; Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City; Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher; Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City; Jack Fry, R-Midwest City; and Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, was sworn in during an earlier ceremony. Quinn, Floyd, Smalley and Pittman have previously served in the House of Representatives.
Returning members who were sworn in on Tuesday included Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa; Mike Schulz, R-Altus; Mark Allen, R-Spiro; Randy Bass, D-Lawton; Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate; Rick Brinkley, R-Owasso; Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow; Kim David, R-Porter; Eddie Fields, R-Wynona; AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie; Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City; Frank Simpson, R-Springer; and Anthony Sykes; R-Moore. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, and John Sparks, D-Norman, took the oath of office in an earlier ceremony.
Returning members were able to file legislation for the 2015 session beginning November 17, while new members can begin filing bills on November 19. The deadline for requesting bills is December 12. January 22 is the deadline for introducing legislation to be heard in the 2015 session.
The full Senate will officially convene for an organizational day on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, and the First Session of the 55th Legislature reconvenes on Monday, February 2.
The Senate website has streaming video from all committee rooms and the chamber. Legislation, the Senate Journal, biographical information on members, high resolution photos, committee and floor agendas, votes and press releases can also be accessed at www.oksenate.gov.
Soon after this morning’s oath-taking for new and returning Senators on Tuesday, Republicans in the upper chamber met in caucus to elect their leadership team for the 55th Oklahoma Legislature.
Without opposition, Sen. Bingman was reelected as President Pro Tempore-Nominee of the Senate.
Bingman also announced that Sen. Schulz will continue to serve as Majority Floor Leader. Majority Caucus Chair Bryce Marlatt and Majority Caucus Vice Chair A.J. Griffin were also elected without opposition.
In addition, the Senate Republican Caucus elected assistant majority floor leaders and majority whips on Tuesday.
“I’m grateful to our caucus for once again entrusting me with this responsibility, and I look forward to working together as we advance the state of Oklahoma,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “The eight new members of our caucus bring a diverse array of experience and a dedication to serve the people of their districts.
We will continue working to ensure Oklahoma remains a leader in economic development and job growth for years to come.”
Republicans also elected the following members to leadership posts Tuesday:
Assistant Majority Floor Leaders: Sen. Rick Brinkley Sen. Eddie Fields, and Sen. Greg Treat; Majority Whips: Sen. Nathan Dahm, Sen. Kim David, Sen. Frank Simpson and Sen. Rob Standridge.
Majority Caucus Chair: Sen. Bryce Marlatt; Majority Caucus Vice Chair: Sen. A.J. Griffin
“I congratulate this fine group of Senators on their election to Senate leadership,” Bingman said. “These men and women will be instrumental in our efforts to advance conservative policy.”
The 55th Legislature will include eight new Republican Senators. Four Senate seats have switched from Democrat to Republican, including Marty Quinn (District 2), Joseph Silk (District 5), Roger Thompson (District 8), and Darcy Jech (District 26). The Senate will also welcome four freshmen in seats previously held by Republicans with the addition of Senators Stephanie Bice (District 22), Jason Smalley (District 28), Ervin Yen (District 40), and Jack Fry (District 42).
The Senate will meet for organizational day on Jan. 6, where leaders will be formally elected and rules for the 2015 session will be passed.
The 101 members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives took their oath of office Tuesday (Nov. 18), including 22 new members who will be serving in the 55th Oklahoma Legislature.
“This is an exciting day at the Capitol,” said House Speaker Jeffrey W. Hickman, R-Fairview. “As the branch of state government closest to the people, these House members have been visiting with Oklahoman.s across the state and are prepared to share the ideas and concerns of our friends and neighbors as we begin to address the issues we face this upcoming session.”
Oklahoma Chief Justice-elect Reif performed the ceremony, as he had the earlier Senate swearing-in. The House currently consists of 72 Republican and 29 Democratic legislators, the same as the previous Legislature.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives will convene on January 6 for Organizational Day and will formally elect House leadership. The bill filing deadline for the 2015 Session will be January 22 at 4 p.m., and regular session will reconvene on February 2.