This past week, I was in a meeting with Congressman Frank Lucas and about 25 other leaders from the Stillwater area to hear his perspective on what’s happening at the federal level.

He discussed the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had, particularly on the national debt, which is now over $28 trillion. Congressman Lucas serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and he said all the science he is seeing gives him concern that the Delta COVID variant could end up being a major problem, especially since it appears that Oklahomans are far behind in getting vaccinated.

Another thing Congressman Lucas stressed in the meeting is his concern about the numerous illegal marijuana growers across Oklahoma. County sheriff departments do not have enough money and manpower to address all of these, so Oklahoma’s federal delegation is working on requesting $4 million of federal funds to help law enforcement groups in Oklahoma to solve this issue.

We passed legislation this year that will increase the number of agents to inspect these grow operations and enforce state laws. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs will be part of this partnership with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. The OBNDD already has raided several illegal operations, making arrests.

I appreciate Congressman Lucas’ communication and leadership on these issues and will continue to stay engaged with him and others at the federal level to address the challenges facing my constituents in District 33.

Now, on a lighter topic, I hope many of you will make plans to attend the Cushing fly-in fair coming up July 23-25 at the Cushing airport. There will be plenty of food trucks and vendors as well as helicopter rides! Admission is $5 per car, and people can park at the airport for free. Thousands of people attended last year, making this an event you don’t want to miss!

Hours for the fair are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. A car show will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and an aircraft show is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

On a final note, the Oklahoma House of Representatives is still working through the redistricting process. During the past legislative session, we approved new boundary lines for each state House and Senate district using preliminary Census numbers. After we’ve received the final data from the Census Bureau, those plans will be finalized in a special session this fall, along with new boundary lines for each of the state’s five U.S. congressional districts.

The House currently is holding a series of meetings on the congressional redistricting. Virtual meetings will be held at 6 p.m. July 13 and Aug. 3, so the public can hear about the process and give input. People can join via this link: https://okhouse.gov/Publications/VirtualMeets.aspx.

A full list of meetings can be found on the House redistricting website: https://okhouse.gov/Publications/Redistricting.aspx.

The public is welcome to ask questions or give comments, including proposed map submissions, by emailing: redistrictoklahoma2020@okhouse.gov.

It is an honor to serve you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 405-557-7304 or John.Talley@okhouse.gov.

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