Thoughts and prayers for tornado victims

by Chris Kidd

My thoughts and prayers are with the residents of Marietta after a tornado hit the city this weekend. I was heartbroken when I learned tornadoes across the state killed several people, including a driver near Marietta. I know many residents in southern Oklahoma are still shaken up by the storms and assessing the damage. Let me assure you that I’m here to help, however I can.

I’m confident Marietta will rebuild better than before. In the meantime, I am praying for everyone who was affected by the severe weather. To seek help from the Red Cross, contact 1-800-733-2767, and please don’t hesitate to contact my office if I can provide any assistance.

As for the latest at the Capitol, the Senate is rapidly approaching the homestretch of this legislative session. The Senate and House just passed the deadline to vote on bills from the opposite chamber, which means we have sent a flood of legislation to the governor’s desk. With about a month left in this legislative session, my legislative colleagues and I are focused on finalizing a state budget and addressing the remaining bills that have been amended. The Senate will also vote in May on the governor’s appointments to key positions in state government.

I’ve sent a couple of bills to the governor’s desk so far this session. Stitt signed my bills to make changes to the State Dental Act and repeal a slate of outdated laws related to unhoused Oklahomans.

In the past week, I also advanced a handful of bills off the Senate floor. Because these bills have been amended, they will return to the House instead of going straight to the governor’s desk. Among those is an important bill that will make it easier for school districts to turn to local food sources to help keep students fed. When the pandemic interrupted food supply chains across the world, the federal government implemented a highly successful program to get local food into school cafeterias. My bill would authorize Oklahoma to create a similar program now that the federal initiative has ended.

The Senate also passed a bill to update our industrial hemp laws to ensure Oklahoma remains in compliance with federal regulations and a measure to include timber in our state’s definition of agricultural products.

April 24 was OSU Day at the Capitol, and it was great to see so many friendly faces from my alma mater at the Capitol. I also enjoyed seeing America’s brightest orange all throughout the building.

One of my favorite parts of this job is meeting young students who are passionate about farming and agriculture. That’s why I felt lucky to meet members of the Agriculture Youth Council and 4-H ambassadors from across the state in mid-April. I also introduced Senate resolutions commemorating April 16 as Agriculture Day at the Capitol and April 17 as 4-H Day.

On a final note, the Senate recently sent the governor a bill that aims to crack down on illegal immigration. Although this is not a typical state policy issue, I supported this measure in the hopes that it will spark the federal government to take action to address the influx of illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Thank you again for the privilege of serving our district and the state of Oklahoma in the Senate. If I can be of any assistance, you can reach me at (405) 521-5563 or