For The Children Weekly Column

Governor’s “State of the State” Starts 2022 Session of the Oklahoma Legislature

February 7, 2022


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “For the Children” Weekly Column

Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117


Just like in baseball, “Opening Day” is important at the Oklahoma State Capitol with the beginning of each legislative session on the first Monday in February. The lawmakers convene on this first day to do the “first reading” of bills, which officially files the bills requested by lawmakers.

State senators and representatives meet in a “joint session” to hear from straight from the governor about the issues the chief executive would like lawmaker to consider during the four-month session. This is all contained in the governor’s “State of the State” address.

The first day of session is the final day of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy’s Legislative Learning Lab. The lab is our four-day conference to help advocates have a better understanding of state government and the with policymakers. We heard from leaders in different roles about various aspects of how the system does or should work.

Many thanks to all the participants, and I would encourage you to go to to watch the video sessions over those four days, along with the PowerPoint presentations and resource documents. They will be available this week. We hope that these individual sessions recorded will be used by schools from across the state to help educate students by hearing the words from those working directly within these areas.

The final discussion of the Legislative Learning Lab had our attendees watch the “State of the State” address from Gov. Kevin Stitt. This year, the governor offered his view on the paths the state should take, speaking directly to lawmakers in their chamber on the fourth floor of the State Capitol. To read his speech, you can go to the governor’s website at

To close the Legislative Learning Lab, a group of former lawmakers and non-profit leaders gave insight into the speech. The advocates heard from an equal balance of Democrats and Republicans, three each, about what may happen over the next four months. OICA will keep you informed what happens with children’s policy during the session.

I want to close this week’s column by remembering individuals who had a significant impact on my life and career. Oklahoma lost three leaders recently, individuals dedicated to making the state better. Pete McDaniel, Terry Peach, and Jay Scott Brown worked to improve the lives of Oklahomans.

Pete was a leader in Farmer’s Union, and later American Farmers & Ranchers, working to ensure their company was well represented. Pete also was one of my co-chairs for my first race for the Oklahoma Legislature two decades ago.

Terry was a farmer and rancher from northwestern Oklahoma. He served as Oklahoma’s Secretary of Agriculture under the Henry administration. Terry was respected by both parties and worked to improve understanding and opportunities for those in agriculture.

Finally, I want us to remember Jay Scott Brown, a former board president for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, along with other roles he took on because of his dedication to Oklahoma’s children. Jay Scott was the board president who hired me at OICA, and I will forever be thankful for that opportunity, along with the impact all three of these men had on my life.

The greatest joy of public service is the many friends you make, but that also opens you up to the loss when they pass away. While I mourn their passing, I am happy they were part of my life.