Sex Offender Bill Moves Forward

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

We are under way in the second week of session and committee work continues. The Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 2437 which seeks to prohibit sex offenders with victims under the age of 18 from living near schools, child care centers, playgrounds or parks, as opposed to the previous law that only pertained to offenders with victims under the age of 13. I authored a similar bill, but for the sake of efficiency, I will focus my efforts on passing House Bill 2437. Although it has a different author, this bill does exactly what my bill intended to do.

On a similar note, I am continuing my commitment to protecting our children with House Bill 3049. As a law, this measure would prevent a registered aggravated sex offender from residing with a minor, any child under the age of 18. This bill was written with the same intentions as the previously mentioned House Bill 2437. It is common sense that anyone convicted of an aggravated sexual offense should not be living with children.

Oklahoma is the intersection of several major interstates. Products and people pass through our great state regularly. However, due to our location, our state has become home to a growing national problem – human trafficking. House Bill 2518 will expand the definition of human trafficking to include recruiting, harboring and transporting individuals for the purpose of prostitution. It also prohibits consent of a minor as a defense for sex trafficking. Passing this law will make human trafficking a criminal activity that our justice system does not overlook.

I’m also happy to report that the legislation prohibiting assisted living centers from penalizing residents for using the pharmacy of their choice has been passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. House Bill 2566 supports local businesses, protects access to health care and protects our right to choose our pharmacy of choice. Assisted living centers in Oklahoma can still have a preferred pharmacy but will not be able to penalize residents for using whoever they choose. The legislation was approved by a vote of 88-6 and will now be passed over to the Senate.

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

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