State Sen. Charlie Laster voiced frustration and State Rep. Josh Cockroft reiterated campaign promises during a legislative Friday luncheon at the Citizens Pottawatomie Cultural Heritage Center.


State Sen. Charlie Laster voiced frustration and State Rep. Josh Cockroft reiterated campaign promises during a legislative Friday luncheon at the Citizens Pottawatomie Cultural Heritage Center.
Community members met with the duo to discuss recent legislative actions taken by the Oklahoma House and Senate. Laster lamented recent
committee decisions on the restructuring of the State Board of Education.
“I’m frustrated a little bit about what is going on in the Senate,” Laster said. “It’s early, but I feel like they are overstepping their bounds with some of these board and committee decisions. There seems to be this attitude that if someone is a Gov. Henry appointee then we should get rid of them. I think this is a knee jerk reaction and I hope that cooler heads will prevail.”
Laster said the first round of committee meetings finished and that bills will now head to the floor for a vote.
“The chairman has done a good job of weeding out some of these bills. In my opinion he should have weeded out more,” Laster said. “I am disappointed in the Senate. Some of these bills are things we don’t need to worry about.”
Laster said workers compensation reform was more important then tort reform in helping to grow local business, and reaffirmed his com- mitment to see the legislation through.
“I voted no on the workers compensation bill because I hadn’t read it,” Laster said. “They put a 250 page bill on my desk at 8 a.m. and the committee meeting was at 9 a.m.”
Laster was careful to point out that his frustrations were with the actions of the Senate and not with House Speaker Kris Steele.
“Just because I am displeased by Senate action doesn’t mean that I am displeased with Speaker Steele,”
Laster said. “It is a very big deal to have the Speaker from this district.”
Cockroft said his time in office has been the busiest days of his life, and he was enjoying his experience as a public servant and encour- aged citizens to contact him with concerns.
“We have been playing catchup these last couple of weeks,” Cockroft said. “This is a very important time here in Oklahoma.”
Cockroft reiterated a campaign promise to divert funds back into infrastructure and transportation.
“We need to make sure the government is governing the things they are allowed to govern,” Cockroft said. “Our roads and bridges are how our businesses survive. That’s how we, as businesses, get from place to place.”
Cockroft said he plans to close the distance between the government and the people “I am a public servant, I want to serve,” he said.
Cockroft encouraged re-
sponsibility when asked about a bill that would return the right to make and enforce anti-smoking laws to the communities.
“Changes have been made to the original bill, but something needs to be done,” Cockroft said. “I believe in personal responsibility. We have the responsibility to keep the areas around us clean and healthy. Also I can see the argument that this is something the government should not get involved in.”
Cockroft said he would continue to work toward modernization of government along with his plan to phase out the state income tax.
“I anticipate the revenue from the sales tax to increase enough to cover the income tax phase out,” Cockroft said. “People would have more of their money to spend, and you would see the results in the increase of revenue from the sales tax.”