OKLAHOMA CITY-Republicans in the House are turning their heads to the problems that come with credit card debt and bankruptcy by killing a bill being backed by the State Chamber of Commerce. Senate Bill 378 would have required students who graduate from an Oklahoma school to take one semester of Personal Financial Economics but was killed when Republican House leaders refused to hear the bill before sine die adjournment last Friday.
“This bill is aimed at protecting Oklahomans from falling victim to credit card debt and being forced into the bankruptcy blunder that rips apart working families throughout the country,” Lawler said.
The Senator said legislators have a responsibility to enact meaningful legislation that gives Oklahoma school children the tools necessary to make financially sound decisions. She said often times Oklahoma’s young adults are pummeled with credit card applications before the even step foot on college campuses and the results are devastating. Lawler said young adults are the fastest growing segment of the population filing bankruptcy. Her bill, she believes would have curtailed the spiraling effects that come with poor financial planning skills.
Lawler, (D-Comanche) said she is disappointed that SB 378 wasn’t granted a hearing in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.
“I am puzzled as to why Republican House leaders who so often talk about being ‘pro-family’ and ‘pro-business’ would stand by and watch an important ‘pro-business’ and ‘pro-family’ bill die at the hands of their hand picked committee chairs,” Lawler said. “The entire business community, including the State Chamber of Commerce, has endorsed this bill and despite all the pro business endorsements, Republicans killed it anyway.”
Lawler said Oklahomans continue to set record bankruptcies and rank in the top five states for most bankruptcies filed among all fifty states. She also noted that Oklahoma ranks in the top ten for credit card debt per capita.
“I simply cannot understand why House Republicans would recklessly refuse to hear a bill that would have strengthened families who are often torn apart by financial ruin.” Lawler said. “Through provisions of SB 378, we had the chance to make tomorrow better for our children by arming Oklahoma school children with the knowledge to make sound financial decisions and instead House Republicans stood by and did nothing.
“Their reckless actions and questionable leadership style is doing nothing to help the thousands of Oklahomans who depend on us to enact meaningful legislation that will make tomorrow better for our children.”