Team Roping, Western Sports Add to OK Economy

Monday, 01 April 2024 14:31

Team Roping, Western Sports Add to OK Economy Featured

Written by Rep. Rick West
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Several constituents visited me at the Capitol this week, sharing with me and other lawmakers the positive economic benefits of team roping and other western sporting events on the state.

Kendall and Melissa Stacy, owners of Integrity Team Roping in Howe, were in town for the Bob Feist Invitational team roping event at the Lazy E arena in Guthrie. This even paid out almost $3.9 million in cash prizes in 2023, and should do the same or better this year. Like any sporting event of this kind, those winners have to pay local taxes on the money they earn, so it's easy to see how this becomes a money maker for the state, which in turn supports the services delivered to Oklahomans.

The Stacys met with me and with Rep. Colin Duel and Sen. Chuck Hall, who both represent the Guthrie area, and they addressed members of our Rural Caucus. They're trying to bring other big team roping events to the state, all of which could spur our economy. It was great to meet with them. I fully support their efforts.

Another really great thing I got to do recently was attend the All for One special needs livestock show, organized by LeFlore County OSU Extension educator Liana Jones. The event was held March 1 in Poteau. It brought together 81 special needs children from various schools across LeFlore County, introducing them to the world of livestock exhibitions and agriculture.

This event was just something really inspiring to witness. It's unbelievable the excitement these kids displayed and the joy they got from showing their livestock. I was so glad to be in the stands to watch this, and I'm grateful to Liana Jones for organizing it and sharing the details of the event with me.

At the Capitol, the governor signed my House Bill 1006 into law. This will grant 4-H members an excused school absence if they are participating in an activity recognized by the county 4-H facilitator. Students will be allowed to make up any missed work and their grades cannot be negatively affected. This is a big win for these students. it should take effect before the next school year begins.

My House Bill 2975 passed the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee last week and now awaits a floor vote. This would protect the private information of homemade food producers allowing them to obtain a registration number to affix to their product labels instead of the current requirement that they list their name, phone number and the physical address. The $15 registration fee would be voluntary.

My House Bill 2972 has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee. This bill would require organizations such as the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association to accept cash at their games and would not allow them to charge extra for cash-only transactions.

We had a rather slow week in the House with a few committee meetings and some floor work. Things will pick up over the next few weeks as we continue to hear Senate bills in House committees and then bring them to a vote on the floor.

As always, if I can help you with anything, feel free to call my Capitol office at (405) 557-7413 or email me at rick.west@okhouse.gov.

 

Rick West serves District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of LeFlore County.

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