Columns/Opinions

Wed
19
Apr

Oklahoma State Senate

April 17, 2017 Last week was the deadline for consideration of House bills in Senate committees. Bills are being sent to the governor daily and she has signed more than forty. Work continues daily on the budget. The Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget have been meeting to approve appropriations and supplemental bills.

The Senate recently approved a $34 million supplemental for the Department of Human Services to help them get through the current fiscal year as well as $710,000 for the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System to ensure those who can’t afford it, get legal representation in criminal court. Then we also passed SB 835, which allows the Oklahoma Supreme Court to transfer money from their existing revolving funds until 2018

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://etypeservices.com/Walters%20HeraldID405/

Wed
12
Apr

Oklahoma State Representitave

A little extra cash and a few new laws

While the House and Senate continue to evaluate dozens of bills on the floor and in committees, Gov. Mary Fallin signed nearly one dozen bills April 6. Bill signings tend to be a sign that the legislative session is well underway, and it’s great to see so many get signed in early April.

One of the bigger pieces of legislation Fallin signed was the $34 million supplemental appropriation to the Department of Human Services. As you might remember, DHS requested additional money from the Legislature to make it through the end of the fiscal year in June. Fallin signed House Bill 2342, which gives DHS money the agency plans to use to help developmentally disabled adults and seniors on Medicaid receive medicine and other services in their home instead of in an institutional setting. The bill passed unanimously in the House, and I’m hopeful the agency will be able to use this money to help people in our community.

 

Wed
05
Apr

Oklahoma State Senate

We’re continuing work in our committees on House bills. Next Thursday, April 13th is the deadline to report House bills out of Senate committees and vice versa. The full Senate will then have until Thursday, April 27th to consider those bills that make it out of committee.

This year, I’m serving as the Senate author on several House bills. Three of those bills were approved in committee last week. HB 1492 allows a designee of the State Fire Marshal to serve on the Oklahoma Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Commission.

 

To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://etypeservices.com/Walters%20HeraldID405/

Wed
05
Apr

Oklahoma State Representitave

House committees resumed meeting this week to begin considering bills coming over from the Senate. The Agriculture & Rural Development Committee, which I chair, heard several bills this week – one that would relax some standards for home bakeries; another that would take away some current regulations on lumbermen, among others.

Wed
29
Mar

Americans Hope For Better Days

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

We hope for fewer taxes instead of more taxes. We hope for better fiscal spending and less wasteful spending. It would be nice if the very poor who are hurting could be helped until they are back on their feet. However the idea of delivering lifetime checks to adults who will not try to work has become a tiresome practice for many Americans.

Millions of Americans are addicted to their welfare and would rather hang on to the addiction of their welfare than go and find a paying job. Welfare must become a temporary source of relief and not a lifestyle that’s passed on to future generations. Most Americans are willing to help anybody a couple of years but the time comes for change.

 

To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://etypeservices.com/Walters%20HeraldID405/

Wed
29
Mar

OSDH Provides Tips to Avoid Injury From Flooded Areas

As storm season approaches the state, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds residents that flooding can cause fatalities and serious injuries for people who are trapped or swept away by wading in, or driving through floodwaters.

During storms with high levels of rainfall, OSDH encourages Oklahomans to evacuate flood prone areas before flooding begins. An evacuation plan should consist of multiple escape routes in case roads are blocked. Evacuation plans should also take into account people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, pets and even livestock.

 

To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://etypeservices.com/Walters%20HeraldID405/

Wed
22
Mar

Oklahoma State Senate

Oklahoma’s budget challenges continue to be the focus of attention at the State Capitol. Meetings continue among the leaders of both chambers and their caucuses as efforts to mitigate the $878 million shortfall for the coming budget year continue. This is in addition to the revenue failure declared for the current fiscal year.

Unlike the federal government, Oklahoma cannot spend money it doesn’t have. Under our state’s constitution, the Legislature must write and pass a balanced budget. While it means cuts are sometimes unavoidable, it also means looking at other possibilities for savings that can be prioritized and redirected as necessary.

 

To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://etypeservices.com/Walters%20HeraldID405/

Wed
22
Mar

Moving Prisoners from County Jail Costs the State More Money

By SCOOTER PARK STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 65

A few weeks ago, the Department of Corrections started pulling prisoners out of 10 county jails, including the jails in Cotton, Comanche and Tillman counties. Director Joe Allbaugh said the move would save the department $775,000 by removing 224 contract inmates from county jails and moving them to Oklahoma reformatories. Later, we found that several of these inmates from two of the jails were not moved to state-owned reformatories and instead were moved to private prisons, costing the state more money. The truth is, it is cheaper to house prisoners in the county jail than in private prisons, according to a 2007 performance audit of DOC.

This move was extremely detrimental to the counties and the citizens. Counties get paid for each prisoner they house, and moving these prisoners without warning leaves the counties in a financial bind and has forced a loss of jobs.

 

Wed
15
Mar

Supporting Law Enforcement and Teachers

Last week was a busy one at the state Capitol as the House passed several key pieces of legislation.

One measure I supported is the Blue Lives Matter in Oklahoma Act of 2017. House Bill 1306 provides that any person convicted of or who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to murder in the first degree of a law enforcement officer, correctional officer or corrections employee while in the performance of their duties shall be punished by death or life in prison without parole.

I’ve worked for law enforcement and you don’t know what will happen at any time. What drew me into law enforcement was when Nick Green, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper got killed right here in Cotton County by a guy who was high on meth.

 

To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://etypeservices.com/Walters%20HeraldID405/

Wed
08
Mar

Oklahoma State Senate

From the Desk of Sen. Chris Kidd 

This week was the deadline for consideration of bills in committee. The Senate started with nearly 880 but just over 400 made it to the Senate floor.

The governor signed the first bill of the session. HB 1845 will bring Oklahoma into compliance with the federal REAL ID law. It ensures Oklahomans who choose to get the REAL ID compliant driver license or ID will be able to use that identification to fly or to enter federal facilities while also allowing citizens to choose the option of a non-compliant driver license or ID.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Columns/Opinions