Focus on Family

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

I want to congratulate the many happily married couples in my district in recognition of National Marriage Week. State lawmakers celebrated the week with a Monday press conference in which organizations that offer marriage education and counseling spoke about the positive effects of marriage on health, wealth and child development.

It also seems fitting to highlight a successful Oklahoma program, the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, which offers an incentive to couples who attend their free marriage education seminars. Couples who participate in a workshop are given $40 off their marriage license fee. I would encourage anyone who is interested in tying the knot to participate in this enlightening program.

I also wanted to mention two bills that were heard in committee, both of which deal with family.

House Bill 1909 would ensure food stamps go to deserving families, rather than individuals gaming the system. The legislation require able-bodied adults under the age of 50 who do not have children to work at least 35 hours per week to qualify for the food stamp program. As the saying goes, money does not grow on trees and prioritizing needy families over young single adults is an important step to ensuring needy families will always have access to important safety net programs.

House Bill 1118 creates the Oklahoma Truth in Adoption Act. It would allow adult adoptees born in Oklahoma or their descendants to obtain a noncertified copy of their original birth certificate. It also allows any biological parent identified on an original birth certificate to file a contact preference form and an updated medical and social history form with the Registrar of Vital Statistics to be made available to the adult adoptee.

As always, I would love to hear from you. During the interim I will be traveling the district, but will regularly check the calls I receive at the Capitol office at (405) 557-7407.

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