Senate Review by Senator Roland Pederson
Mike Seals - June 15, 2020 9:30 am
Sen. Roland Pederson
It’s been busy across District 19 the past few weeks as my fellow farmers and I have been preparing for harvest. I’d like to send my best wishes and blessings for all of those working tirelessly in their fields to feed our great state and nation. My heart also goes out to those who’ve lost property in the wildfires this past week. We all know Mother Nature can sometimes be cruel, and I can’t imagine the pain these families must be going through.
Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell will be in the area on Thursday, June 18 for harvest, and I’m looking forward to welcoming him and showing him around.
Many of you may have heard on the news that 22 state parks across Oklahoma will begin charging an entrance fee per vehicle, which will be used to fund maintenance and park improvement projects. One of the state parks included in this change is the Great Salt Plains here in Alfalfa County. The daily pass fee will be $10 per vehicle, or you can purchase an annual pass valid at all state parks for $75 for the year. You can find more information about Oklahoma’s state parks and the new fees at www.travelok.com.
Finally, I’d like to remind you all about the 2020 census and the importance of getting a full count. The census is only taken every decade, so the next 10 years of federal funding for our core services like education, health care and transportation will be determined by the data collected this year. It’s been found that for each person not accurately counted in the census, the state will lose about $17,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years. It’s up to all of us to make a difference in our state and communities by participating in the census.
As of June 11, Oklahoma still ranked 44th in the nation in total response rate. Across District 19, our response rates were as follows:
- Alfalfa County: 40.2 percent
- Garfield County: 60.7 percent
- Grant County: 43.3 percent
- Kay County: 59.8 percent
The national response rate is 60.9 percent and our state’s response rate is 54.4 percent, so much of our district is still behind the national and state average. We must work together to make sure all of our citizens are counted. If you’ve already completed the census—thank you. If you haven’t, please complete the questionnaire as soon as possible. You can complete it on 2020census.gov, by calling 844-330-2020 or by mail.
Thank you for allowing me to be your voice at the State Capitol. If you have any comments or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at 405-521-5630 or at [email protected].