The 2008 legislative session kicks off Monday morning at the State Capitol. One of the first orders of business is filling a powerful position.
Republican caucus members will assign a new State Speaker of the House of Representatives Monday. Former Speaker Lance Cargill stepped down last week after unpaid taxes came under question.
The interm house speaker Gus Blackwell was favored to succeed Cargill; however, Blackwell pulled out of the race when his own tax problems surfaced.
There are now four Republicans competing for the Speaker position -- representatives Susan Winchester, John Wright, Dale Dewitt and Chris Benge.
Governor Brad Henry will also outline his agenda for the 2008 legislative session on Monday.
His State of the State address is scheduled for Monday in the State House Chamber. The Governor has already unveiled a number of initiatives, including a proposal to give teachers a pay raise to meet the regional average.
Both the State House and State Senate will convene following the governor's speech.