The Legislature made significant progress in our workload this week with Thursday’s deadline to hear bills in the opposite chamber. For the past month, the House has been hearing Senate bills in committee and on the House floor while the Senate has been considering House bills.
With this deadline behind us, we’ll begin considering Senate amendments to House measures. We may choose to go to conference committee on bills with amendments we want to negotiate or we can accept the Senate amendments to our bills and pass them through the House. They would then go to the Governor’s desk to consider signing into law. The deadline to request conference committee is Thursday, May 13.
Under the Oklahoma constitution, session must conclude by Friday, May 28, which means we have the next month to finish up the budget. We will also turn our focus to the redistricting process after the Legislature announced our proposed maps for legislative districts on Wednesday. Those maps can be viewed at https://arcg.is/eWGnu.
The House approved legislation this week to name Oklahoma a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. Senate Bill 631 states that any law, executive order or similar regulation ordering the buy-back, confiscation or surrender of firearms from law-abiding citizens will be considered an infringement on the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Recent action from the federal government has again highlighted the necessity of this legislation to protect our Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights.
Also this week, the House approved the “Save Women’s Sports Act” to protect the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports teams. Senate Bill 2 would require certain athletic teams to be designated based on an athletes’ biological sex.
As someone who grew up playing sports and played during college, I know firsthand the valuable opportunity sports present: these athletes can earn college scholarships and learn the value of hard work and teamwork, as well as staying physically fit.
However, science tells us that the bodies of biological men have a significant competitive advantage over the bodies of biological women. When we ignore this reality, female athletes are automatically disadvantaged on the field and lose medals, public recognition and even possibly athletic scholarships.
SB2 would protect women’s sports by designating them for biological women only which will help ensure a level playing field; without this legislation, we risk the possibility of someday having only men’s sports and co-ed sports.
This week, the Governor signed legislation to help Oklahomans with diabetes better afford insulin. House Bill 1019 caps the copay for a 30-day supply of insulin to $30 and $90 for a 90-day supply. Copays are currently based on individual insurance plans, but insulin often costs families hundreds of dollars for a months’ supply. More than 450,000 Oklahoma adults have diabetes, and this legislation will help save the lives of these Oklahomans by making this medication more affordable.
As always, please reach out to my office to share thoughts on legislation. Thank you the honor of representing House District 51—God bless!