The Easter holiday is my favorite holiday because of what it means to me as a Christian. Easter Sunday is the celebration of the glorious truth that Jesus Christ was risen from the dead! As Christians, we walk by faith, trusting and accepting that Jesus died on the cross as atonement for our sin. This is the reason to celebrate! Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your hear that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” I am especially grateful that we are able to meet in person safely this year after many of us were not able to gather in person last year at the start of the pandemic. Happy Easter!
The Legislature is quickly approaching our committee deadline. Next Thursday, April 8, is the deadline to hear Senate bills in their House committee. Afterward, we’ll have two weeks on the House floor to consider Senate bills. Following that deadline, we’ll again consider any bills that passed the House or Senate with the title stricken or any other changes made. We’ll also focus much more heavily on the state budget as well.
One bill the House approved recently was House Bill 1497, which prohibits property ownership by people from countries that ban United States citizens from owning property in that country. Non-U.S. Citizens and foreign business entities can acquire title to real property in the United States, which has been occurring at an alarming rate throughout Oklahoma. This has the potential to threaten the security of our state and nation. This is a cause of great concern to my constituents in House District 51 and many other people throughout Oklahoma. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter recently begun pursuing similar efforts to work with local and statewide law enforcement across the state to obtain information on any questionable land purchases in Oklahoma and determine if illegal activity is occurring in conjunction with these property transfers. Many House Republicans sent a letter of support to AG Hunter as he pursues this concern, and I was proud to sign on as well.
This week, the Legislature passed SB783 and HB2078, which the Governor signed into law immediately. These two bills combined may be the most transformative education reform in state history. SB783 allows parents to choose what school district best meets the needs of their children, even if that school district is outside their current residence district boundaries. It also gives the receiving schools flexibility to set their own school capacity by grade level and they would not have to accept student transfers if they are already at full capacity. School districts have the ability to deny a transfer student if that student has previous discipline or attendance issues at their current school. HB2078 modernizes the school funding formula and ensures that the funding follows the student more closely to the actual school that the student is attending.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me about legislation you have questions on or are passionate about. Thank you for the privilege of representing House District 51—God bless!