The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday approved a $7.6 billion general appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2019 that gives significant funding increases for common education, mental health services, child welfare programs, and criminal justice reform.
On Wednesday, the Senate approved legislation to slow the rapid growth of opioid addiction in Oklahoma. Sen. A.J. Griffin is the Senate author of House Bill 2798 that creates the Opioid Overdose Fatality Review Board and House Bill 2931 to require the use of electronic prescribing for all scheduled drugs.
Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks released the following statement:
“Today the Oklahoma Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2019 general appropriations bill that was released to the public less than forty-eight hours ago. The rush to adjourn the legislative session early provided very little opportunity for legislators to review the budget proposal and consider its full impact.read more.
The full Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a measure addressing the over-prescription of opioids in Oklahoma—the prescription drug is now the leading cause of fatal overdoses in the state. Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, is the principal author of Senate Bill 1446.
OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure to provide increased transparency of local school districts’ spending on salaries was approved Wednesday. House Bill 2009, by Sen. Jason Smalley and Rep. Michael Rogers, would require the State Department of Education, beginning with the 2018-19 school year, to annually publish on its website a report that lists all increases in wages, salaries, rates of pay or fringe benefits, and any changes to job class.read more.
General Appropriations Bill Overview
Sen. Lonnie Paxton applauded Gov. Fallin for signing legislation Tuesday to help grow Oklahoma’s agriculture industry by allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp. House Bill 2913, by Sen. Paxton, Rep. Jon Echols and Rep. Mickey Dollens, creates the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program.
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Senator Micheal Bergstrom announced this week he was notified by the governor’s office that nine communities in northeastern Oklahoma have been named federal Opportunity Zones under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Citizen Advocates for Recovery and Transformation (OCARTA) named Sen. Ron Sharp their Legislator of the Year and presented him with the Recoveree Choice Award Tuesday.read more.
Senate Floor Leader Greg Treat discusses the 11th week of session.
To strengthen Oklahoma families and the state’s economy, the Senate approved legislation Wednesday to establish work or training requirements to participate in the SoonerCare Medicaid program. House Bill 2932, authored by Sen. Adam Pugh and Rep. Glen Mulready, would instruct the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to seek waiver authority to modify Medicaid eligibility criteria to require documentation of the same education, skills, training, work or job activities currently required by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday approved a slate of criminal justice reform bills that will slow the state’s skyrocketing incarceration rates while still keeping communities safe.
Senator Mark Allen’s office has been apprised that president of the Oklahoma Trucking Association Jim Newport has been communicating with legislators and truckers about Senate Bill 1380. “There appears to be some misunderstanding about the bill that I’d like to clear up,” said Allen.read more.
Oklahoma City – Three legislators from Edmond are thanking their local education community. State Senator Adam Pugh, State Representative Ryan Martinez and State Representative Mike Osburn have released the following statement after meeting with thousands of educators and constituents:read more.
Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Pat Ownbey thanked their colleagues and Gov. Fallin Friday for their support of legislation to help diabetics get reimbursed for life-saving training and education. The legislators are authors of Senate Bill 972, which will direct the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to examine the feasibility of submitting a state plan amendment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to enable the Oklahoma Medicaid Program to reimburse providers for diabetes self-management training (DSMT).
The I-40 and I-35 corridor makes Oklahoma a prime location for not only drug trafficking, but human trafficking. Truck stops are major targets for traffickers, which is why Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Steve Vaughan authored House Bill 2651 that received final approval in the Senate Wednesday and is moving on to the governor’s office.
The leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S. is from drug overdoses, killing more than 64,000 people each year. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved three measures Wednesday authored by Sen. A.J. Griffin and Rep. Tim Downing to address the growing health epidemic. The bills were among the eight legislative recommendations made by the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse that Griffin created through legislation in 2016.
The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved legislation Wednesday to boost the state’s second largest industry, the aerospace industry. House Bill 2578, by Sen. Paul Rosino and Rep. Tess Teague, would create the Aerospace Commerce Economic Services (ACES) program under the Department of Commerce. The ACES program is based on similar business models from other states that have proven to have substantial economic impacts.
The Senate gave final approval to legislation Tuesday to put the rights and protections of Oklahoma’s foster kids into state statute. House Bill 2552, authored by Sen. A.J. Griffin and Rep. Pat Ownbey, passed unanimously.
“Oklahoma has around 9,600 kids in state custody and it’s our legal and moral responsibility to protect their rights and best interests,” said Griffin, R-Guthrie. “This bill will ensure that these kids and their foster families are aware of those rights while also providing a safe way for foster kids to report grievances.”
The Senate unanimously approved a measure Tuesday to protect victims from sexual predators. Sen. James Leewright and Rep. Kyle Hilbert are the authors of House Bill 1124, also known as the Justice for Danyelle Act of 2018, to prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of their victims.