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Capitol Report

 

April 25, 2019

Last week was a successful but busy week. There have been several bills that have taken the front seat of my research such as Senate Bill 1001. We voted on this bill last week, in which I voted against, reason being, I believe this bill would be taking away the local control of our communities. This bill covered environment and natural resources; defining auxiliary container; restricting issuance of certain ordinance relating to containers.

Another bill that required a lot of research was Senate Bill 614. This bill requires a facility and/or physician that performs medication abortions using Mifepristone to: conspicuously post a sign that informs women that the drug is not always effective in ending a pregnancy and that it may be possible to reverse the effects of the drug if the second dose is not taken, inform the woman at least 72 hours prior to the procedure that it may be possible to reverse the effects of the drug, except in the case of a medical emergency; and provide written instructions to the woman following the initial dose of the drug that it may be possible to reverse the effects of the drug and where to get help.

I did vote in favor of this bill. Reason being that studies show that around 500 babies have be born as a result of the reversal, it also allows a woman who has second thoughts on having an abortion to have the option to counteract the process of abortion.

Another bill that has taken a lot of research on my end is Senate Bill 407. We have not yet voted on this bill. Until then I will continue to do the needed research on it. Beginning with tax year 2019, this bill proposes to increase the annual credit cap for contributions to eligible scholarship-granting organizations. This would change from $3.5 million to $30 million.

This bill changed the definition of “eligible school,” but removing the language that an eligible school not be located within 10 miles of another qualifying school and increasing the size of the public school district student level to 8,500 up from the current 4,500.

Senate Bill 441 is an education bill that I have also being looking in to and doing a lot of research on. Part of this bill would increase the Minimum Salary Schedule for teachers by $1,200. The pay raise would go in to effect September 1, 2019. The measure also requires schools to be in session no less than 1,080 hours, and no fewer than 165 days each year beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.

Any school district wanting to go fewer than 165 days a year must meet minimum guidelines for student performance and school district cost savings established by the State Board of Education. The school must still be in session for at least 1,080 hours. This mandate would not be implemented for one year, to provide time for the guidelines to be developed and it would also be subject to legislative approval. I have been in contact with several of the superintendents in District 27 to continue the needed research on this.

An update on some of my bills: House Bill 1048 is still being worked on. We are still negotiating with the Turnpike Authority and ODOT on this. House Bill 1048 protects groundwater rights in eminent domain cases, unless the landowner wants groundwater rights included in the eminent domain proceeding. My main purpose for this bill is to guarantee landowners their right to water when needed. In times of drought water is just as precious as oil or gas to these landowners. This was a request bill from the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.

Another bill that I have been active on is an education bill that would require emergency-certified teachers to complete professional development training prior to teaching. This is House Bill 1316. I have co-authored alongside Representative Sherri Conley on this bill. To learn more about this bill or others you may visit okhouse.gov and find out more.

As always, I appreciate all of the input and feedback I have been receiving. Please do not hesitate in reaching out. My office phone is (405) 557-7349 and my email is [email protected]

 

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