Legislation that would create Oklahoma’s first-ever Children’s Cabinet moved one step closer to becoming law when the state Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 697 on Wednesday.
The measure would streamline services for state agencies and organizations serving Oklahoma children. Gumm said the Cabinet would ensure state agencies are maximizing the resources at their disposal to provide improved services.
“Nothing could be more important for our state leaders than to ensure that our children have the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives,” said Gumm, D-Durant. “The Children’s Cabinet will put our agencies on the same page to efficiently utilize resources. It’s time for a more proactive approach to children’s issues, and the Cabinet will take the lead in that effort.”
The Children’s Cabinet would be comprised of 15 top ranking officials whose agencies have interests in children’s policy in Oklahoma. Support staff would be provided by the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.
“With Oklahoma ranking far too low in a number of areas related to children’s health, safety and education, it’s critical that we maximize the resources at our disposal to make a positive impact,” Gumm said. “I’m pleased my colleagues acknowledged the importance of this effort and unanimously supported the bill.”
Lt. Gov Jari Askins, a leader on the initiative, said it was time for state leaders to work together and establish a unified vision for the state’s children.
“This proposal is a win-win for the children of Oklahoma and the state agencies who serve them,” Askins said. “By bringing everyone together, the Children’s Cabinet will better identify and serve the needs of our youngest citizens. I am grateful the State Senate sees the need for this important legislation.”