State Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, released the following statement on Friday regarding his decision to remain home while the Senate convenes in a special session to vote on the governor’s declaration of a health emergency due to COVID-19 in Oklahoma.
“I am very disturbed by the new development that will call a special session of the Oklahoma State Senate on Monday, April 6 at 8 a.m. to approve or deny the governor’s health emergency declaration. Although we’ve been told every person will have their temperatures taken upon entering the building and all Senators will remain enclosed in their individual offices until they are notified or called for votes, I will not be in attendance. Although I have no underlying health issues, I am 65 and fall under the governor’s “Safer at Home” policy that requires the COVID-19 vulnerable population to stay at home and shelter in place. Based on advice from medical professionals, I have decided that for my personal welfare I will not report to the special session.
“Unfortunately, this does place Senate District 48 and its residents in a position where they will not have representation on votes that will impact their lives.
“My concern is asymptomatic individuals can still carry the virus. I am certain that the process of answering roll, presenting legislation, asking questions and debating legislation will likely be accomplished by doing so in groups of 10 or less. However, the virus can live in the air and on surfaces, still allowing possible exposure. Senators will likely be at the Capitol all day hearing very few bills, and I consider this a waste of time that will continue to put each Senator in harm’s way, potentially sickening all Senators and staff who attend.
“I think we should pause and figure out another method that will allow us to finish this business while still protecting the lives of Oklahomans and honoring their rights to be represented.”
For more information, contact: Sen. George Young at 405-521-5531, or email George.Young@oksenate.gov.
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