When the new fiscal year begins on July 1, a program to help provide nutritious meals to Oklahoma seniors will have its funding restored. Senate Bill 1017, by Senate Appropriations Chairman Mike Morgan, includes an allocation of $3 million for the Community Expansion of Nutrition Assistance (CENA) program.
“Last year, the Human Services Commission voted to cut the $2.7 million in funding for CENA. But this program is vitally important to so many older Oklahomans. Not only did we restore it, but we increased the allocation to $3 million this year,” said Morgan, D-Stillwater.read more.
With assaults on staff members of the Lloyd E. Rader Juvenile Center continuing to climb, local legislators said they were awaiting investigations at the federal, state and local level.
During the first half of fiscal year 2004, residents at the center committed 82 assaults on staff members and other residents. That is nearly twice the number as in 2003.
“Just this past weekend there was a huge brawl that left 17 people hurt, including 10 members of the staff.
Senate President Pro Tem Cal Hobson has announced his appointments to a task force charged with studying the issue of telecommunications deregulation.
Legislation creating the task force was approved during the 2004 legislative session in response to questions surrounding deregulation.
“I have asked Sen. Jay Paul Gumm and Sen. Richard Lerblance to serve on this panel. They both have an excellent understanding of the complexity of this issue and its importance to virtually everyone in Oklahoma,” said Hobson, D-Lexington.
A measure to boost the economy in rural Oklahoma recently became law with the governor’s signature.
The Rural Action Partnership Program (RAPP) was the result of a lengthy legislative study into ways to improve the economy in small-town Oklahoma.
Senator Jay Paul Gumm, Senate author of the bill, said the Rural Action Partnership Program gives the Department of Commerce more tools to focus efforts in rural areas of the state. The House sponsor was Rep. Dale Turner, D-Holdenville.
Senator Glenn Coffee of Oklahoma City has been elected by Senate Republicans to head that caucus’s new leadership team for the 50th Legislature, which will be elected by voters this November and convenes in 2005.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be elected by the Senate Republican Caucus to serve as Republican Floor Leader in the 50th Legislature. I look forward to working with our extremely talented leadership team to help move our pro-family, pro-jobs agenda through the Senate,” Coffee said.read more.
After unanimous legislative approval, State Sen. Mike Johnson said he was pleased that Gov. Brad Henry has signed a bill to help protect victims of identity theft. Johnson, R-Kingfisher, is principal author of Senate Bill 1164 which creates an “Identity Theft Passport” to protect innocent victims from arrest or other legal actions.