Friday, November 4, 2011

DeWitt named Majority Floor Leader, other leadership changes made

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Dale DeWitt has been named the next Majority Floor Leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Speaker Kris Steele named DeWitt, R-Braman, to the position Friday to replace outgoing Floor Leader Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, who is leaving office later this month. DeWitt will become Floor Leader effective Dec. 1.

Rep. Dale DeWitt
“Dale DeWitt is a true leader whose talents and wisdom will serve Oklahoma extremely well as the House’s next floor leader,” said Steele, R-Shawnee. “His effective work this year in crafting the House redistricting plan is something that united our entire chamber when it could have easily turned into something highly contentious and divisive. This is the type of positive dynamic I know Dale will bring as floor leader.”

As Floor Leader, DeWitt will be responsible for assigning bills to committees, scheduling bills for floor hearings and running business on the floor during session. In addition to serving as Floor Leader, DeWitt will continue serving as chairman of the House Redistricting Committee. He will also maintain his current membership on other House committees. The responsibilities of the position of Majority Leader, which DeWitt previously held, will be distributed among other House leadership positions.

“I am honored and excited to serve in this new capacity and pledge to do everything I can to serve the entire House,” DeWitt said. “I recognize this is a unique privilege and intend to treat it as one.”

Steele made a handful of other changes Friday to caucus responsibilities.

“These changes are all about putting the right people in the right place at the right time so we can build on the success of last session,” Steele said. “Our caucus is full of diverse talents and it is our responsibility to maximize those talents in the best possible ways.”

Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, was named Deputy Floor Leader. As Deputy Floor Leader, Wright will assist with the duties of the Floor Leader’s office.

Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, was named chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Services. Nelson has been leading the bipartisan group of House members that is reviewing the Department of Human Services.

“Given the importance of the work Representative Nelson is leading on DHS, it’s logical for him to serve as chairman of the committee most responsible for the agency’s budget. Having him in this role will be a big help to the House DHS reform group’s ongoing development of organizational, structural and resource allocation reforms for DHS,” Steele said.

Rep. Ron Peters, R-Tulsa, was moved to the chairman position for the House Committee on Energy and Utility Regulation.

“Ron’s valuable experience in the energy sector and as a committee chairman will serve the House extremely well as he takes on his new role,” Steele said.
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