Last Leg of Session

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

The Oklahoma Legislature is down to the last month and last leg of the legislative session. In February, there were more than 3,500 bills and joint resolutions to review. Now, with some legislation signed into law and other bills dead for the session, lawmakers have only about 700 left to weigh in on.

Recent legislation passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives will help cities attract retirees through a Department of Commerce program. Senate Bill 1640 authorizes the Department of Commerce to establish an Oklahoma Certified Retirement Communities Program to market communities as retirement destinations if they apply and meet certification requirements.

House lawmakers also passed a bill that will ensure the preservation of crime scenes in nursing homes. Senate Bill 1879 requires the nursing home facilities to report suspected rapes and make every effort to preserve the scene of the crime until law enforcement arrives.

Constituents have called on state officials to respond to the federal health care legislation. I am proud to announce the House passage of House Joint Resolution 1054. The legislation amends Oklahoma law to allow citizens to opt-out of the new federal system and retain their current coverage. It also allows the Oklahoma Legislature to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care mandates. HJR 1054 protects every person, employer, and health care provider in Oklahoma from being compelled to participate in any health care system. It also prohibits financial penalties for failure to purchase insurance and enables doctors to continue to accept direct payments.

I was pleased to attend Oklahoma’s 84th FFA Convention at the Cox Convention Center. It was quite enthralling to watch tomorrow’s leaders in action. I also wish to mention what a great job the Okeene Chamber of Commerce did in putting on the Okeene Rattlesnake Roundup. Nellie, Davis, and I had a great time.

I had a wonderful evening at the Blaine County Agricultural Appreciation Dinner last week. I would like to congratulate the award winners and hall of famers recognized. Congratulations are also due to the state champions from Canton, the high school men’s rugby team.

The budget shall be my main focus from this point forward. I am dedicated to protecting core government services and the Rural Economic Action Plan program from the worst of the cuts, while looking for ways to scale back programs of lesser importance.

I will keep you regularly updated on the activities of the Legislature through this column. As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at the Capitol at (405) 557-7407.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.