Capitol Considerations by Sen. Bill Coleman

Senator Bill Coleman-Ponca City-District 10 - July 7, 2022 4:45 pm

Senator Bill Coleman-Ponca City

Our family had a wonderful Independence Day weekend, and we hope you did as well. What a special time to reflect on our many freedoms and rights, and the brave men and women who made them possible and continue to protect them for us.

We have a busy interim ahead of us. We’ll continue our work distributing the state’s $1.87 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The Joint Committee on Pandemic Funding is meeting regularly to decide how best to utilize these funds in an efficient and meticulous manner that will benefit our state for decades to come. We will reconvene on and off throughout the interim as the committee makes recommendations for us to act on.

The Oklahoma Legislature is also hosting the Council of State Governments (CSG) Southern Legislative Conference, which runs from July 9-13, at the new Oklahoma City Convention Center. This is the premier public policy forum for southern state legislatures.

Last week, 41 interim studies were also approved. I’ve requested one to research the possibility of allowing for the direct shipment of alcohol in our state. Online shopping and having food and other products delivered to one’s house has become the norm. Alcohol delivery is a booming industry in other states and is something Oklahomans are asking for too. We just need to see how this system could be safely instituted and what laws are needed to protect consumers and the businesses. This study has been assigned to the Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

In total, 16 studies have been assigned to my committees, including six to Business and Commerce; four to Transportation; three to Rules; and three to Public Safety. Committee chairs and vice chairs are now reviewing these requests to decide which studies to hear and to get them scheduled. Sen. James Leewright and I are going over the requests assigned to the Business and Commerce Committee. Once scheduled, these meetings are open to the public and can also be viewed live on the Senate website at www.oksenate.gov. To learn more about the Senate studies, visit https://oksenate.gov/publications/senate-interim-studies.

I want to remind everyone about the upcoming launch of the 988 Mental Health Lifeline on Sat., July 16. This will replace the 11-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. It will operate 24/7 and offer services for mental health crisis calls. Operators are licensed and certified health crisis specialists who answer calls, connect to and dispatch local services and mobile crisis teams. I hope you’ll share this important number with friends and loved ones because you never know who may be secretly struggling with a mental health crisis and need immediate help.

I’m so grateful that this life-saving number will be included on all public and private school student IDs for those in 7th-12th grades, starting in the 2023 school year. This is one of the most important bills I’ve authored, and hopefully it will serve as a constant reminder to students that they aren’t alone and help is always available to them.

In closing, I want to thank everyone for your overwhelming and continued support as I begin my second Senate term. I’m already working on my list of bill requests and would love to hear what issues you’d like to see addressed next session. Requests have to be submitted in early December, so please contact me with any ideas, questions or concerns you have about current laws or possible future legislation.

You can contact me by calling (405) 521-5581 or emailing [email protected]

 

Latest Stories

Ponca City High School Building Lady Cat Wrestling Team

Po-Hi is looking to build a team full of strong young women to participate in Lady...

NewPoint Church Hosting Back to School Event

School will begin in Ponca City on Wednesday, August 24th. NewPoint Church will host a Back-to-School...

Accusers Dismissed From Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Former OKC Officer Convicted Of Rape

OKLAHOMA CITY –  A civil lawsuit against a former Oklahoma City Police Department officer serving a 263-year prison...