It was a pleasure to attend two OKGOP events with good friends and a great speaker. Candace Owens was superb as she challenged everyone listening to simply speak up. Bravery in our current society requires only the willingness to speak the truth.
More than 1,200 delegates from across the state attended the GOP convention Saturday where we elected the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the party. The arduous process resulted in a team that will continue to energize the party in Oklahoma. Congratulations to John Bennett and Shane Jemison!
“Our cause is the cause of all mankind…we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own.” -Benjamin Franklin
This day, one year ago, I declared my candidacy for the office of Oklahoma State Representative.
I needed to vote for a candidate who viewed the Constitution of the United States as the greatest governing document in the history of mankind. I was determined to vote for someone who would stand for individual liberty and the God-given rights of all men. My state representative did not meet these requirements.
The morning of April 10th, after two sleepless nights, I decided to take a step of faith and I haven’t regretted the decision. I assumed I would receive only two votes, my husband’s and mine, but I was just happy to have a candidate for whom I could vote. I had no idea there were others in our district who felt as I did.
I have thought about that day often during the last year. With each new or difficult challenge, I consider whether I would have made the same decision knowing what I know now. It is always YES. In fact, had I not put my name on that ballot, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life.
I have spent years promoting the idea of liberty and teaching others about our beloved Constitution. This stage of my life is simply a continuation of that objective. Whether I am in the legislature or in a classroom or at home or wherever God desires for me to be, I will be teaching about liberty.
As Frederic Bastiat said, “Liberty is an act of faith in God and in His work.” True liberty is found only through faith in Jesus. And I will continue spreading the idea of liberty as long as I have breath.
This was the final week for moving bills through the various committees. The Public Health committee was busy hearing fifteen bills dealing with several areas of health in Oklahoma.
There were bills in support of parental rights and the sanctity of life.
The bills in support of life were SB612 and SB779 and both passed out of committee and are available to be heard on the House floor.
SB612 by Senator Nathan Dahm and Representative Jim Olsen states, “a person shall not purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.” A person convicted of performing an abortion will be guilty of a felony.
SB779 by Representative Mark Lepak and Senator Julie Daniels seeks to create a certification program to regulate the manufacturing and distribution abortion-inducing drugs.
In the state of Oklahoma, parents can apply for vaccination exemptions on medical, religious or personal grounds. Many parents are not aware of these exemptions. SB779 would require school boards to provide the exemption information to parents. It also establishes a method by which school boards may mandate masks and it includes limitations.
SB821 has received a significant attention from folks on both sides of the issue. While it has the good intentions of reducing restrictions on pharmacists, it sets limitations on the cost-sharing benefits of the large pharmacy chains. I did not vote in support of this bill due to the certain negative economic impact of limiting one sector of a particular industry. This bill must be rejected in spite of the good that may come from the deregulation in this bill. I hope the author will remove the cost limitations so pharmacies may benefit from the reduced restrictions.
Beginning next week, both chambers will be hearing bills on the floor. The final stage for the bills that are passed off the floor by May 22nd will be Governor Stitt’s desk.
This bill was from the session last year. I was excited to be the House author on this bill by Senator Daniels. It was a request bill from a constituent. This bill will adjust how auto tags are handled when a car is repossessed. It allows the tag to be treated as personal property so it can be returned to the owner. It will help those in this industry. It was the first opportunity I have had to present a bill on the floor. It has been sent to the governor’s desk.
God gives the responsibility of rearing children to the parents and not to the state. Parents are the ultimate authority in the lives of their children. Parents determine how best to guide their own children. Be aware that there are members of our Oklahoma legislature who question whether parents should be entrusted with such an important responsibility.
The following quotes are from a committee meeting discussion of SB627. It is a simple bill which begins with, “No public body shall conduct any form of mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling.”
“Article XIV of the Constitution addresses that you cannot withhold information or training about other citizens.”
“You want the white parents to teach their white beliefs about diversity? It is very difficult in Oklahoma because everyone is white and the ones that aren’t are left out.”
“How do you think the parents, and we all have to admit this that we have a long history of not being very kind to people who don’t look like us or act like us, So how do you expect parents to be in charge of opening the minds of their children to accept other human beings just as they are?”
“As our citizens in Oklahoma have grown up since the 1900s we have been a very close-minded state and we are just beginning to make some strides to change that. So parents are still trying to change it or they don’t want to change anything. They like it just like it is. So why do you think that parents are going to open the minds of our youngsters so we can have a stronger, more inclusive, more diverse state?”
“I find this bill to be anti-Oklahoman. It is a bill to cause separation between people.”
-Quotes from a Democrat member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, March 31, 2021
This week in OKC the “Tip of the Spear” exhibit was officially opened at the Oklahoma History Center on Monday. The outdoor exhibit features a Bell UH-1 helicopter, better known as the Huey, which become an iconic symbol of the Vietnam War. It sits atop a representation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Wall, which represents the more than 58,000 lives of U.S. service members, including 988 Oklahomans, lost in the war.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution recognizing Vietnam veterans and welcoming them home. House Resolution 1018 by Rep. Tommy Hardin of Madill officially recognized and honored Vietnam War veterans for their service and sacrifice, joining the national celebration of Vietnam War Veterans Day. The resolution also expressed appreciation for the veterans’ service to the state and nation and with deep appreciation welcomed them home.
“Unfortunately, due to the unpopularity of the Vietnam War at its end, our nation’s veterans were not welcomed with open arms as they should have been when they finally returned home,” Hardin, a Marine, said. “These brave service members deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for their willingness to serve and sacrifice for their country and in pursuit of freedom everywhere, and we thank them for their heroism and valor.”
My father was a Marine and a Huey crew chief during the Tet Offensive. He was a great man who loved life and loved his family, but events that happened during his time in Vietnam and when he returned home troubled him throughout his life. This memorial service and the House resolution were particularly meaningful to me.
Committee meetings are in full swing again as the Senate bills make their way to the House. The entire process of hearing bills in committee before sending them to the House floor which we just completed with House bills is repeated with each of the Senate bills.
As a member of the Administrative Rules committee, this week I heard SB913 by Senator Julie Daniels. I voted in support of this bill and I believe it is one of the most important bills we will hear this session.
It is probably no secret that the nearly 200 state agencies regularly legislate by passing rules which will be enforced as laws. Currently, any changes to these rules must be presented to the legislature for disapproval. All rule changes must be submitted to the Administrative Rules committee no later than April 1st. Members of this committee receive stacks of rules to be examined. We have a brief window in which to read and investigate all proposed changes. SB913 addresses this process.
SB 913 modifies the procedure for the approval of agency rules. The measure allows the Legislature to repeal an agency rule by joint resolution
The measure directs the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate to establish a Joint Committee on Administrative Rules comprised of current members. The Joint Committee is to consider proposed rules, amended rules, and repeal requests submitted by an agency and is authorized to meet during the interim.
The ability to meet all year to review new or unnecessary rules is a vital step in ensuring all legislation passes through the legislature. I look forward to seeing the procedures in this bill implemented.
The 2020 Census is followed by drawing new district maps for legislative seats.
If you want to try your hand at drawing House and Senate lines, visit the website below and click on Dave’s Redistricting link. Be prepared to redraw the entire state. A small change in one area can affect districts in other parts of the state.
Because of Chike’s courage and a united coalition, there is now Supreme Court precedent warning government officials that, if they violate our rights, they will be held accountable to the victims. And that’s good news for every single American.
Having completed Deadline Week, this slower week gives us a chance to get some rest and to visit folks in our districts.
On Monday, I was able to attend the monthly Washington County GOP meeting. WOW! What a turnout! This was the first meeting with the new leadership and they did a great job managing the meeting. We heard updates from representatives of our Washington delegation. All eyes are on DC as we watch what the new administration has in store for the country. I am grateful to have Representative Hern watching out for the interests of Oklahomans.
Tuesday evening in Oklahoma City was the annual Oklahoma Youth Expo. What a fun event! Thousands of people, rows of barns filled with livestock and kids playing. It is so good to be an Oklahoman! Governor Stitt and all of the Oklahoma legislators were in attendance. We had the opportunity to learn how to show livestock and were paired with a student from our own district. Miss Kennedy Kramer of Caney Valley FFA taught my son, Gabe, and I how to properly present her beautiful lamb for judging. She was very knowledgeable and had Gabe convinced that sheep showing should be in his near future.
We spent some time at the Capitol early in the week discussing our resolve as legislators to protect Oklahoma from any Constitutional violations coming from the oval office. We have passed bills and resolutions asserting our sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
HB1236 The measure allows the Legislature to review presidential executive orders, federal agency rules or congressional action to determine constitutionality.
“Oklahoma hereby asserts sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and delegated to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.” HR1010HR1009