Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sen. Smalley, chairman who obstructed abortion abolition bill, resigns to take private-sector job

The favorite pastime of the Oklahoma Legislator in recent years continues to go on. Another month, another legislative resignation for a job outside elected office. Last month, it was Democrat State Rep. Shane Stone; this month, it's Republican Sen. Jason Smalley.

In the past three and a half years, something like a dozen legislators (only two of which were Democrats) have resigned either in disgrace or to take another job.


Hat tip to NonDoc.com for reporting the news, and uploading Smalley's resignation letter, shown below:


Smalley would have been up for reelection this year, having been elected to the State House in 2012 and then moving to the Senate by winning his seat in the 2014 election.

More from NonDoc:
Smalley said he will not be a registered lobbyist for Motorola in Oklahoma but that he will supervise the duties of a registered lobbyist. In his official resignation letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt (embedded below), Smalley said he will “be in charge of [Motorola’s] Oklahoma operations.”
Last session, Senator Smalley received national attention for refusing to give the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act a fair hearing in the Senate's Health & Human Services Committee, which he chaired. Smalley stood in the way of a measure that sought the same consistent goal that he has repeatedly espoused over the years -- the end of abortion in Oklahoma.

While some of those who advocated for the bill could have followed more advisable methods of urging him to allow the bill to be heard, the fact remains that abortions are being performed today because Senator Jason Smalley took the side of Planned Parenthood and quashed the idea of trying a new strategy to bring abortion to a swift end.

Good riddance.

UPDATE -- Sen. Smalley issued the following press release:

Sen. Jason Smalley announces resignation from District 28 seat


State Senator Jason Smalley announced Tuesday he would resign office effective January 31.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Lincoln, Pottawatomie, and Seminole counties, and I will always treasure the trust that the citizens of Oklahoma have placed in me,” said Smalley, R-Stroud. “After serving my country in the U.S. Marines for six years and eight years in an elective office, I believe it is the right time and opportunity to enter back into the business world.

Smalley said he would be named Senior Account Manager for the Motorola Solutions Corp., in charge of its Oklahoma operation.

“Motorola Solutions provides critical-mission technologies utilized by our first-responders, ensuring public safety across Oklahoma and the country,” Smalley said. “My experience in public office and as a Marine makes it a great fit and opportunity to continue to improve the communities in Oklahoma.”

Smalley passed the most significant teacher pay raise in state history and was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Higher Education three times, most notably for his work on reforming the Oklahoma Promise scholarship. Smalley was the first member to raise the income cap in over fifteen years. He also laid the framework to allow ridesharing networks like Uber to operate in Oklahoma.

Smalley was raised in Stroud, graduating from Stroud High School, where he earned a music scholarship to the University of Central Oklahoma. While attending college, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served multiple tours. Following an honorable discharge in 2006, he received his degree in Social Science from the University of Oklahoma. He was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representative in 2012, and two years later, to the Oklahoma State Senate. Smalley currently serves as the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and as a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Education, General Government, and Rules.

He and C’Anne have been married since 2003 and have three boys, Gideon, August, and Lincoln.

Smalley said he would send his resignation letter, to be effective January 31, 2020, to State Senate Pro-Tempore Greg Treat later today.

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