I passed Senate Bill 1884 out of the Senate Transportation Committee this past week, which would designate a route that generally follows State Highway 69 in Oklahoma from the Kansas to Texas borders as the historic Jefferson Highway route.

While many people think Route 66 is the oldest highway to pass through our state, it is actually the Jefferson Highway, which runs north and south through Oklahoma and pre-dates Route 66 by nearly a decade.

The historic Jefferson Highway was one of the earliest automobile highways in the country and originally ran from Winnipeg, Canada, to New Orleans, spanning more than 2,300 miles.

Oklahoma is the only state to have the Jefferson Highway and Route 66 spanning it.

Under SB 1884, funding for highway signage would be provided by private sources, and the Department of Transportation would install available signage as designated. The cool thing about the Jefferson Highway is that it actually runs through many of our communities, often small towns, by turning down main thoroughfares including historic downtown districts. By promoting this iconic route, we hope to increase tourism and economic development in our communities. Rep. Avery Frix from Muskogee is the House author for this measure and I’m enjoying working with him to promote this highway.

The Senate recognized a major milestone in our state’s history last week. February 28th marked the 100th anniversary of Oklahoma becoming the 33rd state to ratify the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Interestingly enough, Oklahoma actually gave women the right to vote two years before suffrage was approved nationally.

My colleagues and I adopted Senate Resolution 13 to celebrate this event, which was authored by Sen. Kim David of Porter and Sen. Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City. Both of these ladies made history when they became the first women since statehood to hold the posts of Majority and Minority Leaders.

The next two weeks will be busy on the Senate floor as we vote on legislation. If there is anything I can help you with, please feel free to reach out to me. You can contact my office at 405-521-5561 or email me at Micheal.Bergstrom@oksenate.gov. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Sen. Micheal Bergstrom (R-Adair) was elected in 2016 as the state senator from District 1 which encompasses the northeast corner of Oklahoma including Ottawa, Craig, Delaware and Mayes counties.