State senators, representatives visit Duncan Middle School

Oklahoma state legislators visited Duncan Middle School today, giving them a chance to meet with Duncan educators and students.

Senators Jessica Garvin and Chris Kidd and Representatives Marcus McEntire and Brad Boles, all of whom represent parts of Duncan and Stephens County, attended the third annual Legislative Breakfast, hosted by the Association of Duncan Educators and the Duncan Legislative Team. Afterwards, they visited the seventh-grade journalism class during first hour to talk with the students about their jobs at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Derrick Miller, Duncan Legislative Team chair, greets Sen. Jessica Garvin and Rep. Brad Boles. (Presley Sanders)

The Legislative Breakfast began during the first year of the ADE Legislative Team, which started as a way to keep Duncan teachers involved and informed in the happenings at the state level.

“It’s important for teachers to keep in touch with our legislators,” Derrick Miller, Duncan Legislative Team chair, said. “We don’t want public education to be forgotten or overlooked. The breakfast helps us to continue to develop those relationships with our legislators.

“We’re fortunate to have great representation for Stephens County at the Oklahoma State Capitol.”

The legislators spent a portion of their morning, following the breakfast, talking to the first hour journalism class. The students, who had researched their legislators and wrote questions earlier this week, interacted with the senators and representatives throughout the class period.

One question asked of the legislators was about the relationships among each other.

“We do get to know each other personally, but there are those who are not as close as we are,” Garvin said.

Another topic discussed in class was the process of how state bills become laws. McEntire drew on the board the steps to turning a bill into law, moving from one chamber’s committee all the way to the other chamber and eventually to the governor’s desk.

Kidd said bills are hard to pass into law, as he explained a simplified version of the bill process. He said a bill has to get approved by both chambers before it can move to be approved by the governor to become law.

Boles agreed on the difficulty of the process.

“Bills and laws are hard to pass,” Boles said. “Around 75 to 80 percent of bills don’t pass.”