Just a little FYI happening down at our state’s Capitol today. The legislative members will officially “organize” to elect their leaders. Yes, I know, their leaders were officially elected and selected in November, this is just the official part of the program. However, what I didn’t know before becoming a Senator’s wife, is that this is mandated in our state’s constitution that they convene today and “officially” conduct this little piece of business.
Here is the schedule for today’s events:
Beginning at 9:00 am, the legislators will all gather to caucus. Caucus? What, you ask is a Caucus? That would be our vocab word of the week: to caucus, where members of a like-minded group meet together.
I have been told that there is a rural caucus meeting, a republican caucus and a democrat caucus meeting today. Oh, but wait, there are plenty more caucuses. There is the black caucus, a native American caucus and a cancer caucus. I asked my Senator if there was a angry, white male caucus but he did not respond. I am sure there is not a female legislative caucus because you could count them all on one hand…well, maybe two. That makes me want to run for office, so I will quickly get back to today’s events.
After the “caucusing” takes place, they will re-convene in the chamber to formally elect the Senate Pro Tempore and the Minority Leader. Because there are more Republicans than Democrats, the Pro Temp will be an “R” and the Minority Leader a “D”… majority rules! In theory, the Pro Temp is the head honcho, large and in charge of all that goes on in the Chamber. The fact that this position is now held by a Republican is historic in that it has never happened before in Oklahoma history, where the “R” is in the top Senate leadership spot. There will be a few congratulatory speeches, after all, this is a noteworthy occasion, and then they will adjourn.
Next, they head across the hall to the House of Representatives. Probably to congratulate the Speaker and exchange more pleasantries. Then, they will adjourn again, ( hopefully to have lunch, a bathroom break, or fly to Miami), only to re-convene in the Senate Chamber to discuss the rules.
I anticipate this particular portion of today’s events will produce a nice fireworks display. The passing of the torch is always complex, but when the rules change, so does the way the game is played. If you would like to watch this live on your computer, go to http://www.oksenate.gov. It should be a good show. Like, way better than reality t.v. because you might actually know some of the people.
If I were a guessing girl, I would bet the new majority of members are planning to change a lot of rules. I would. After serving in the minority since statehood, I am confident they plan to offer up an entirely new perspective on how to play the game. Stay tuned.