The interim is over, and the second half of the 57th legislature has now begun!
Rep. Dills and I are in a new office on the second floor (261), and we have a new legislative assistant (Ahlyia Ralston). Christopher Bluth is also interning in our office through the OU Capitol Scholars program. I’m excited to once again regularly update you through each week of the legislative process.
February is going to be all about getting bills passed through committees. I’ve passed already passed three bills through committee: HB 2846, HB 2850, and HB 2851.
HB 2846 creates the Oklahoma Kratom Consumer Protection Act and requires that kratom be appropriately labeled and regulated.
HB 2850 is a clean-up bill for legislation last year related to the Oklahoma Veterans of Foreign Wars Specialty License Plate.
HB 2851 creates the Oklahoma Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary License Plate to honor the Oklahoma Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary. As amended, it also creates the Scottish Rite Mason License Plate for members of the Scottish Rite Masons, along with the Transportation to Transportation License Plate.
All three bills passed unanimously in their respective committees.
I’m very happy to report that HB 3028 passed through committee. This is a bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation that creates a harm reduction program to collect, dispose, and replace used hypodermic needles. In other states with similar programs, drug use has decreased, and with an emphasis on offering preventative services and addiction treatment, we can also reduce health costs. Rep. Carol Bush is the primary author of this bill, and she did an outstanding job presenting it yesterday and answering thoughtful questions from committee members. Rep. John Waldron and I are the House co-authors, and Sen. John Michael Montgomery and Sen. Carri Hicks are the Senate co-authors.
It’s been great to participate at functions and events at the Capitol, including speak with visiting Cameron University students on Higher Ed Day and discussing energy policy at the Oklahoma Academy’s press conference (pictured).
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to be in McAlester for Leadership Oklahoma. This particular session focused on our criminal justice system and how we can improve it for Oklahomans. While we’ve made tremendous progress in reducing our prison population during the last few years, there’s still more work to be done to increase access for mental health and addiction treatment services that can help reduce our recidivism rate.
As always, I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and phone at 405-557-7374.