House of Representatives

Miller to Serve as A&B Transportation Chair; Russ Promoted to Chairman Emeritus

9/8/2021 9:31:00 AM

Contact: John Estus
Office of House Speaker Charles McCall
Capitol: (405) 557-7439
Cell: (405) 706-0084

Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, was appointed chair of the House Appropriations & Budget Transportation Subcommittee on Wednesday by House Speaker Charles McCall.

McCall, R-Atoka, also advanced the committee’s previous chairman, Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, to chairman emeritus.

“Our infrastructure system connects Oklahomans and builds stronger businesses and communities,” Miller said. “Ensuring Oklahoma continues proper funding for the repair and maintenance of our roads and bridges is a top priority. I am excited to step into this role ahead of the upcoming legislative session and look forward to working with other state officials to continue to improve Oklahoma’s infrastructure.”

Miller has served as vice chair of the committee since 2019. Elected in 2018 to represent House District 82, Miller previously worked for the Oklahoma Dept. of Veterans Affairs and Oklahoma National Guard.

In his new position as chairman emeritus, Russ will advise committee leadership and assist as needed with managing matters before the committee. He will continue to sit on the committee and vote on legislation.

Russ served as chair of the committee from 2019 to 2021. Elected in 2009 to serve House District 55 in western Oklahoma, Russ is a banker who has served various institutions in roles from owner and founder to executive vice president and president, CEO, director and stockholder. He is currently a licensed land title agent and has also served as chairman of the Oklahoma Banking Association Small Bank Council.

“This committee’s work has been highly rewarding, especially considering where transportation funding stood early in my tenure in the Legislature,” Russ said. “We have made transportation funding improvements every year that are now paying off for Oklahoma. It has been an honor to serve on and lead the transportation funding committee during such a positive time for Oklahoma infrastructure.”

This month, the Federal Highway Administration ranked Oklahoma 7th nationally for bridge conditions after having been ranked 49th in the nation in 2004 due to a large number of structurally deficient bridges. This accomplishment followed a years-long effort by the Oklahoma Legislature – initiated by House Republicans upon attaining the chamber’s majority in 2004 – to improve transportation infrastructure statewide.

“This committee’s strong tradition of quality leadership and big results have made it the focal point for Republican infrastructure accomplishments,” McCall said. “Representative Miller’s excellent work ethic and successful public policy career make her a natural choice to continue setting the high standards expected of this committee.”

Russ will reach his legislative term limit next year. His new chairman emeritus role allows for succession planning ahead of his term limit and is consistent with previous committee leadership changes McCall has made upon a committee leader announcing candidacy for another office. In 2017, new committee leaders were named when multiple committee chairs announced candidacies for statewide offices. Russ has announced candidacy for state treasurer in 2022.

“Representative Russ has overseen an incredibly successful tenure for transportation funding. Oklahoma will continue to benefit from his past and future service in this critical fiscal policy area. I appreciate his willingness to continue serving and share his knowledge to launch another era of Republican success in state transportation funding,” McCall said.

The second session of the 58th Legislature begins Feb. 7, 2022.