October 1, 2020
As bill request deadlines are approaching in the Legislature, work at the State Capitol has steadily been increasing. So far, 16 of the 39 Senate studies have been heard. The remainder must be heard by Friday, Oct. 30. Again, presentations made in the different studies are available on our website.
If you have expertise or experience with a study topic and would like to be considered for participation, contact the Senator who requested the study or the committee's chair to which it has been assigned.
Besides attending interim studies, I've also been meeting with the Corporation Commission. I'm pleased to say they are considering returning to in-person hearings, which I believe is necessary to deliver the best service possible.
Lately, I've had several meetings and events around the district. I had the opportunity to speak and be on the panel for the Seminole State College President's Leadership Class last Thursday. The overall session was called Voter Engagement, and several topics were discussed such as the value of registering to vote and the experiences elected officials face.
Voting is one of the many freedoms that set the United States apart from many other countries. I hope you will take the time to share your voice at the election box in November. Besides the presidential election, we'll be voting on congressional and judicial seats, county positions, and state legislative seats as well as two state questions.
To participate in the Nov. 3 general election, you'll need to be registered to vote by Friday, Oct. 9. Also, if you want to vote by absentee ballot, you'll need to request that through the Oklahoma State Election Board website by Tuesday, Oct. 27. You can learn more about absentee voting requirements on their website.
I want to mention a special opportunity for eligible museums in our district. The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) recently opened applications for the 2020/2021 grant cycle of the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program. The grants-in-aid program includes $500,000 to provide grants from $500 to $20,000 for municipal, county, or tribal governments, not-for-profit historical organizations, and groups that support these entities. All not-for-profit applicants must be registered with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.
Grants are awarded in four categories: collections, exhibits, programs, and capacity building. Official program rules are available at www.okhistory.org/grants, or you can contact Nicole Harvey at 405-522-5202 or [email protected] Applications must be submitted by Friday, Oct. 30, at 5 pm. Applicants wanting to receive optional draft application feedback need to submit their draft applications by Oct. 2. Awards will be announced in late January 2021.
The pandemic has financially impacted many of our historical and cultural organizations around the state. Programs like these and public support are crucial in preserving our state's history for future generations. Museums and similar entities also boost our local economies, improve citizens' quality of life, provide unique educational opportunities for citizens of all ages, and help attract businesses to the state. We are nothing without our history.
According to OHS, there are at least nine eligible entities in Senate District 28 that can apply. These include the Lincoln County Historical Society & Museum of Pioneer History, the Meeker Historical Society & Museum, the Prague Historical Society & Museum, the Route 66 Interpretive Center, the Seminole Historical Society & Oklahoma Oil Museum, the Seminole Nation Museum, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, the Stroud Public Library and the Tecumseh Historical Society & Museum. If you know of any other historical organizations in our area, please share this opportunity with them.
The grant program started last year, and the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) has awarded just over $410,000 in grants in the first year; and of the 87 organizations that initially applied for the program, 43 received grants. Hopefully, our local organizations will be among the award recipients in January.
To contact me at the Capitol, please write to Senator Zack Taylor, State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 309.12, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105, email me at [email protected] or call (405) 521-5547.