State Sen. Mary Boren has received approval for four interim studies ahead of the 2020 legislative session, including two requested with House Republicans. Boren says she’s requested studies on farm-to-table reforms, affordable housing initiatives, and joint studies on textbook adoption and funding reforms and on solar energy in schools.
“Each of these issues represents areas of concern identified by citizens in Senate District 16,” said Boren, D-Norman. “These studies will give us an opportunity to take an in depth look at these topics and help us find ways of empowering Oklahomans with solutions that reflect our best values.”
Each approved study is assigned to the committee that has oversight of the area of law related to the request. It is up to the chair of each of those committees to schedule meetings.
“I’ve already heard back from the Senate Agriculture and Wildlife Committee’s chair, and my study on farm-to-table will be given a hearing in October,” Boren said. “We’ve seen an increasing trend of more restaurants and farms wanting to be able to take advantage of farm-to-table, which gives diners the opportunity to enjoy fresh, local produce. My goal is to identify any unnecessary barriers or red tape, then work to pass reforms so we can better promote farm-to-table, better supporting local restaurants, farms and poultry operations.”
Boren’s affordable housing study has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.
“Home ownership makes a community stronger, but we also know there is a need for more affordable housing. There are many Oklahomans who work hard at full-time jobs that pay low wages. We want to identify what the need is and what affordable housing means for the working poor and look at initiatives that the state and local communities could utilize to help close that affordable housing gap, such as incentives or enterprise zones,” Boren said.
The joint study on textbook adoption and funding reforms has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.
“There is a significant need for publishers to create content more aligned to Oklahoma curriculum. I am hearing from educators that material from other states doesn’t always mesh with the material we require our schools to teach,” Boren said. “That’s especially problematic with so many emergency certified teachers who don’t have the curriculum development training those with education degrees have.”
The joint study on solar energy in schools has been assigned to the Senate Energy Committee.
“As we work to identify efficiencies that will enable us to put more of our education dollars back into the classroom, we need to be looking at sustainable, renewable energy sources. Purcell just built a new middle school building without increasing their energy costs thanks to the use of solar panels,” Boren said. “This clean energy source can help generate savings that can go directly into the classroom.”
All Senate interim studies must be completed by November 8. Meeting notices will be posted at www.oksenate.gov.
: Sen. Mary Boren at 405-521-5553, or email Mary.Boren@oksenate.gov