Public Safety, DHS Bills Move Forward

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

This past week the Senate passed a series of DHS reform bills while House lawmakers voted in favor of several public safety bills. Although the DHS bills have been approved by both the House and Senate, they will be further amended and voted on in conference committee. The House and Senate will have to vote a second time on their final form.

House lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1889 unanimously. This legislation requires campus police to report all rape incidents on campus to law enforcement. The bill will now return to the Senate with House amendments. If these amendments are accepted, it will go to Governor Mary Fallin to be signed into law.

Senate Bill 1544 passed 65-22 and will proceed to the governor’s desk. This legislation exempts state officers who are also reserve special agents for both the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control from the existing prohibition against holding dual offices. The present law regarding dual officers was not intended to prevent law enforcement from doing their jobs and this bill will correct that.

State senators passed House Bill 2941, which targets meth manufacturers without limiting consumer access to medicines. The legislation would not make pseudoephedrine medicines such as Advil Cold and Sinus available by prescription only. Instead, it further limits over-the-counter purchases of pseudoephedrine to an amount equal to the recommended therapeutic dosage. The measure also authorizes the use of Oklahoma’s real-time electronic blocking system to track and block the sale of pseudoephedrine to individuals who have tried to purchase an illegal quantity or who have been convicted of a methamphetamine-related offense.

Again, I would like to express my gratitude to the Woodward Police Department and the county sheriff’s office, members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, county and city officials, and Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer for their extensive efforts during the severe weather we experienced. I also commend the search and rescue efforts of the Woodward Fire Department and fire departments from Woodward County and surrounding counties. Finally, I thank Governor Mary Fallin for coming out with us to survey the damage on the Sunday following the storms.

The victims and the families of those lost loved ones are in our prayers.

As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at the Capitol at (405) 557-7407.

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