Representative Pfeiffer talks High Points in Upcoming Legislative SessionFri, 26 Aug 2022 15:03:01 CDT
At the 2022 Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association annual meeting in Stillwater, Okla., Farm Director, KC Sheperd, had the chance to visit with member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, John Pfeiffer, talking about needs for wheat growers and what to expect when the legislative session opens back up.
“Most of my districts say we need rain,” Pfeiffer said. “If we could legislate rain, life would be so much easier. Unfortunately, we can’t, and it will come in its own good time. We have lived through these tough times before.”
At the moment, Pfeiffer said he has been traveling and meeting constituents, catching up on work around the farm, and talking with producers back home.
“We have a federal relief aid coming out,” Pfeiffer said. “Working very closely with Secretary Blaine Arthur to get those dollars funneled through the FSA offices and out to the people who really need them.”
Pfeiffer urges producers to contact their local FSA office and sign up for the relief programs offered because the money is there waiting for someone to take advantage of it.
As for legislation going back into session soon, Pfeiffer said before the regular session, they will most likely go into another special session to finish out the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money.
“The federal money that came in through the states- the committee is working through that, and I believe before too long we will see ourselves going back into special session,” Pfeiffer said. “We have done the first round which went to water infrastructure- roads and bridges, things like that.”
This last time, Pfeiffer said they will finish dividing out close to 1.8 billion dollars before prices continue to go up.
“Going into regular session, I think we are going to continue to work on medical marijuana issues,” Pfeiffer said. “It is going to be interesting to see as Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority becomes its own state agency and out from under the umbrella of the health department, how much better that gets.”
Pfeiffer said they will also continue to work on issues such as tax relief and working with county assessors on assessing property.
“For recreational marijuana, the secretary of the state certified the signatures,” Pfeiffer said. “There are still some court processes that they have to go through, and we will see. It will be on a ballot sometime; it is just up to see if it will be on this November ballot or if it will be on the next general election ballot after that.”
The marijuana issue is a difficult one for Oklahoma, Pfeiffer said, and has grown exponentially.
“There are more dispensaries now in the state than McDonald’s,” Pfeiffer said. “We have roughly 8300 licensed growth facilities in the state of Oklahoma, and we really only need between 200 to 250 to produce all of our domestic use needs. It is going to be interesting to see how those changes.”
Pfeiffer said it is going to be interesting to see once it makes it out on the ballot what the turnout will look like.
“The last time this happened, we had 8500 people turn out to vote just on this issue that didn’t even cast a vote in the gubernatorial election,” Pfeiffer said. “We just want to make sure we are not moving backwards. We have gone through some really tough times in rural Oklahoma dealing with marijuana growth operations and we don’t want to see any backsliding in those areas.”
Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to KC Sheperd and John Pfeiffer talking about legislation in Oklahoma.
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