With more states across the nation considering and passing legislation requiring insurance companies to cover treatment for autism, Sen. Jay Paul Gumm is vowing a renewed effort next session to pass similar legislation in Oklahoma.
Gumm is the author of “Nick’s Law,” the bill that would have required health insurance companies to cover diagnosis and treatment of autism. The measure received strong support in the State Senate by both Republicans and Democrats, but was stopped by House Republicans.
The education of future doctors and a study of the business side of medicine would be combined as part of a legislative proposal by State Sen. Jim Wilson. Wilson, D-Tahlequah, said he plans on introducing a measure for the 2009 legislative session to acquire the Oklahoma State University Medical Center (OSUMC) in Tulsa which would result in a permanent location for the residency program, including the emergency room program.read more.
Senator Jay Paul Gumm said politicians should not have the power to force consolidation on rural schools. The Democratic Senator from Durant will re-file legislation returning that power to Oklahoma’s voters.
“Rural Oklahoma is the heart and soul of our state, and rural schools are the life force of those communities. Forcing rural schools to consolidate or close against the will of the community would be devastating and threaten the rural way of life,” Gumm said.read more.
The effort to require health insurance to cover diagnosis and treatment of autism in children received another grassroots boost this week from one of Oklahoma’s most respected child advocacy organizations.
At its legislative fall forum, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) placed the issue at the top of its priorities for the 2009 session of the Oklahoma Legislature. The forum, held on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, brought together child advocates and lawmakers to discuss a variety of issues important to Oklahoma’s children.read more.
State Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond/Oklahoma City, issued the following statement regarding a lawsuit by Nova Health Systems against bipartisan pro-life legislation that overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature in 2008. Lamb is the Senate author of the law, Senate Bill 1878.
“This lawsuit was filed by a pro-abortion fringe group that opposes Oklahoma’s sensible regulations on abortions. Their lawsuit seeks to undo important reforms that provide women with information that helps them give informed consent prior to receiving an abortion,” Lamb said.read more.
Following a news conference by Gov. Brad Henry and State Treasurer Scott Meacham, Senate Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma, issued the following statement.
“Our nation is facing economic uncertainty. Thankfully, the Legislature’s conservative fiscal policies of the past two years have put Oklahoma in a much better position than most states to weather this situation. The Senate is working with the House and the governor’s office to ensure that our state government responds appropriately to any economic challenges,” said Coffee.read more.
A painting depicting the 2007 dedication of the USS Oklahoma Memorial at Pearl Harbor was unveiled at the State Capitol on Wednesday. Sen. Jim Reynolds, who worked with the USS Oklahoma survivors to secure the permanent memorial, said this will forever commemorate not only the lives of the men lost on the ship named for this state, but also, the survivors who never gave up on their dream of creating a memorial for those who died on December 7, 1941.read more.
State Senator Roger Ballenger, D-Okmulgee, was recently named the 2008 Legislator of the Year by the Oklahoma State Troopers Association for his support and dedication to Oklahoma law enforcement.
Roy Rogers, president of the Oklahoma State Troopers Association and Captain Rusty Rhoades, legislative liaison with the Department of Public Safety presented the award to Ballenger at the State Capitol.read more.
The United States is in the midst of what well may be the worst economic crisis since the 1929 crash on Wall Street which forced millions of Americans into poverty, hunger and despair. The home lending debacle has been snowballing for months, and the domino effect is devastating economies throughout the nation.