Columns/Opinions

Thu
21
Feb
Edgar's picture

House Passes Bill to Allow Citizens to Carry Firearms Without Permits

OKLAHOMA CITY - The House of Representatives today passed a measure that would allow citizens to carry a firearm without a permit.

House Bill 2597, by state Rep. Jon Echols, would allow anyone age 21 or over to carry a firearm without a permit. It would permit veterans and active duty and reserve military personnel age 18 or over to carry without a permit. The measure would prohibit felons and those with domestic violence convictions or who have been adjudicated as having a mental illness from carrying a firearm. The bill does not affect current federal law requiring a background check for the in-store purchase of a firearm.

In places where carrying a firearm is currently prohibited, the bill allows those private property owners and college campuses to continue to set their own policies regarding the carrying of firearms on those premises.

Thu
21
Feb
Edgar's picture

For the Children: Bill to Reduce Uninsured Rates Moves Through Committee

The legislative session is moving quickly this year and the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is currently tracking a whopping 530 child-related bills. Each of these bills must be heard and approved by committee within the first four weeks of session. Those that miss that deadline can be held over and reexamined in 2020. Many bills will not advance, and that 530 number is sure to shrink considerably once we enter March.

Thu
21
Feb
Edgar's picture

Second Week Saw House Show Support of Constitutional Carry, Teacher Pay

This week the House heard several bills on the floor. One bill you probably saw in the headlines was House Bill 2597 by Rep. Jon Echols of Oklahoma City. This is the constitutional carry bill that was very similar to the bill passed by the House and Senate last year before it was vetoed by then-Gov. Mary Fallin. This year’s version of the bill successfully passed the House with a 70-30 vote and will now move to the Senate, where it will undergo the same legislative process before it goes to the governor’s desk.

Thu
14
Feb
Edgar's picture

An Uplifting Message

Last week during his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump delivered an inspiring and uplifting message that seemed quite Reaganesque. I was extraordinarily proud of what he had to say and how he chose to say it.

In stark contrast to the highly polarized and partisan political environment, the president sought to unify rather than divide the country. While he rightly pointed to several achievements realized during his administration, he also called for action and solutions on some pressing problems currently holding our nation back.

Thu
14
Feb
Edgar's picture

For the Children: Lawmakers Work With Foster Care Alumnus to Make Policy

By Oklahoma Institute for Child
Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman

The legislative session is moving quickly,  and lawmakers are now busy working in their assigned committees to sort through relevant bills and resolutions. I am pleased to say that our legislators have filed many bills that seek to directly impact and improve child well-being. In fact, two of those bills have been the result of a collaboration between elected officials and one of our OICA advocates, a young man who is an alumnus of the foster care system in Oklahoma.  

Thu
07
Feb
Edgar's picture

An Annual Message

While the State of the Union is certainly one of the greatest American ceremonies, it is much more than a production that takes place each year. Indeed, the gathering adds record to our history, affirming our founding principles and demonstrating our striving still toward a more perfect union.

Thu
31
Jan
Edgar's picture

OPINION: Nancy Pelosi Kills America’s State of the Union – What Next?

Over coffee in diners and pasta in kitchens, Americans are saying one thing:  Washington, grow up.  They know most fellow Americans rise for work, act responsibly, and earn an honest living.  Whatever they think of President Trump – who appears to keep promises – they disdain the know-it-all, self-satisfied, smug-as-a-bug Congress.

Last week, in an act of breathtaking hubris, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used her newlyreclaimed gavel and pedestal to simply disinvite a President of the United States from delivering the Nation’s Annual State of the Union address.  Average Americans, whether they planned to watch or not, should be aghast.  

Thu
31
Jan
Edgar's picture

National Marijuana Legislation At Fork In The Legislative Road

The dream of marijuana advocates is that Congress will pass a marijuana bill that will make pot instantly legal throughout America. But even though the midterm elections brought more people to Congress who support marijuana reform, it looks like that dream may have to wait.

In the meantime, several bills have been filed in the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives that take different approaches to the issue. The most important differences concern how these bills handle the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies marijuana as similar to heroin and cocaine.

Thu
17
Jan
Edgar's picture

Keeping Democrats Accountable

By Congressman Tom Cole

With the shift in majority control of the House due to the outcome of the midterms, the newly sworn-in 116th Congress will represent a challenging era of divided government. Especially in divided government, there is no room for one-sided debate. In order to get things done for the American people, bipartisan and good faith negotiation is critical. Unfortunately, with their new majority in hand, House Democrats have already demonstrated—through both rhetoric and actionstheir unwillingness to work with Republicans. Instead, they seem intent on squashing conservative priorities held by constituents in many districts across the country.

Thu
10
Jan
Edgar's picture

Why A National Marijuana Law Could Be Closer To Reality In 2019

So far, the task of loosening marijuana laws has been left to individual states to implement. But that changed when the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives last month.

“The states have been carrying the water for the promarijuana forces for several years but that may finally start to change,” says Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish (www.sarahleegossettparrish.com), a cannabis industry lawyer. “The federal government is about to get involved in a big way. Uniform national marijuana laws are certainly now on the table.”

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has already laid out a blueprint to advance national marijuana legislation. Blumenauer’s plan could begin as soon as Democrats take the gavel next month, he says. His strategy would include starting to move the 37 bills currently unable to make it to the House floor under Republicans onto committee schedules, for hearings and proposed legislation.

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