In a move not announced until Wednesday afternoon, Wes Lane, Chairman of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services has placed a vote on the November 1 Commission agenda to close both the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center and the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center.
Sen. Patrick Anderson today said the result of the vote would be to force the state’s most vulnerable and severely disabled citizens out on the streets.
Widows of 100% disabled veterans will soon be getting a financial boost thanks to a law that goes into effect November 1st. Senate Bill 46, by Sen. Don Barrington, will provide surviving spouses who have not remarried with a sales tax exemption of up to $1,000 per year.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ordered that formal oral arguments be held regarding Sen. Patrick Anderson’s constitutional challenge to the issuance of $25 million in state bond funds for repairs to a dam owned by the City of Tulsa. Arguments will be heard in the Court’s historic Courtroom in the State Capitol on Nov. 8, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.
State Senator Steve Russell joined forces this week with other decorated military veterans for the ten-day (Oct. 19-28) East Coast “We Can Do Better” tour to generate awareness of the mounting challenges facing service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as veterans of all generations.
On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs held its fourth and final meeting studying the states seven veterans centers. Sen. Frank Simpson, who requested the study, said he was pleased by the insight gained from veterans, their families, center staff and members of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the War Veterans Commission and the many others who testified at the meetings.read more.
Sen. Patrick Anderson today said a report on the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM) released by the State Auditor and Inspector vindicates critics of further debt-financing for the project. The audit shows that over $97 million in state funds have been spent on the project, and yet, after seven years of construction, its promoters claim they still need an additional $80 million to complete the facility.
Anderson said Oklahoma taxpayers deserve better stewardship of their money than AICCM leaders and Board members have provided.read more.
In a bi-partisan show of support, 57 Oklahoma legislators yesterday filed a brief in the Oklahoma Supreme Court defending a state law regulating abortion-inducing drugs.
Last year, the Legislature approved House Bill 1970, which required Oklahoma physicians to administer such drugs in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. At least 8 women are known to have died following use of abortion-inducing drugs in an off-label, unapproved manner. No women have died from bacterial infection following FDA-approved administration of the drugs.
The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on Wednesday examined whether the state may have an opportunity to reduce the risk of disease and death among smokers through tobacco harm reduction strategies.
Requested by Sen. Rob Johnson, the interim study focused on the potential impact of policies that encourage smokers to switch from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco products, which are statistically less likely to result in harmful outcomes.
Two lawmakers who’ve been among the most vocal advocates for patients and families at the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center (SORC) in Pauls Valley said they were very encouraged by their meeting with the governor about the future of the facility, and that of the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid (NORCE). Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada, and Rep. Lisa Billy, R-Purcell, also said as policy-makers move forward, it is important that more accurate information about the two facilities is part of the conversation. The lawmakers said the tone set by Gov.read more.