The State Senate voted unanimously Tuesday in support of legislation to ensure Oklahoma students will be taught about the Oklahoma City Bombing. House Bill 2750, by Senator Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, and Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, now moves to Governor Brad Henry for consideration.
While 168 lives were lost in the bombing 15 years ago, the terrorist attack deeply impacted people throughout the state. Justice pointed out people in communities throughout Oklahoma lost friends and family members the morning of April 19th, 1995.
State Sen. Jay Paul Gumm is continuing his efforts to ensure compliance with a tax break for disabled veterans originally passed in 2005. Gumm said despite widespread publicity about the law and a $500 administrative fine approved in 2006 for noncompliance, there are still retailers in the state refusing to honor the tax exemption.
State Sen. Randy Brogdon called Tuesday’s Senate vote on an ObamaCare opt-out measure an important step toward reasserting Oklahoma’s sovereignty as a state. Brogdon, R-Owasso, is Senate author of House Joint Resolution 1054, by Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, and Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. The measure was approved in the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 36 to 11.
A long-time advocate of health care reform said any additional cost to the State of Oklahoma as a result of federal health care legislation could be easily offset by eliminating waste, fraud and utilizing better management of medical records.
“The fact is, if we had already addressed these issues, the federal government wouldn’t have needed to step in,” said Senator Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah. “We already take billions of dollars from the federal government to fund a variety of programs.”read more.
Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee and House Speaker Chris Benge urged Oklahoma’s Attorney General on Monday to file suit against the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of yesterday’s health care legislation.read more.
The state Senate on Tuesday approved a resolution designating the “Honor and Remember Flag” to officially recognize and honor fallen members of the United States Armed Forces. Sen. Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow, author of Senate Concurrent Resolution 48, said the flag was an appropriate unifying symbol for recognizing the nation’s debt to fallen servicepersons.read more.
Legislation to give additional protection to domestic violence victims is now awaiting action in the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 2022, by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Sue Tibbs, R-Tulsa, expands current law by enabling victims to see exactly where their abusers are via GPS.
Two years ago, Leftwich authored and passed legislation to allow court-ordered GPS tracking of domestic abusers. Law enforcement can access their location and determine if they are in violation of any court orders regarding proximity to their victim.read more.
Senator Jay Paul Gumm has won Senate approval for a bill to end the sales tax on groceries throughout Oklahoma once the state recovers from the recession.
The measure, which was approved on a bipartisan 33-11 vote, contains provisions to protect cities and counties dependent on those revenues. Those entities would be reimbursed by the state for the tax they no longer would be able to collect on the sale of groceries.