Capitol Update from Rep. Luttrell
Mike Seals - February 12, 2021 12:05 pm
Our second week of session hasn’t slowed down, and this week saw the Governor sign some much needed executive orders helping the people of our state. These included an order pushing back on federal restrictions regarding the oil industry, an order suspending regulations for truck drivers who are transporting propane for the next 30 days in order to ensure Oklahomans can keep their heat on, and an order regarding Department of Public Safety (DPS) wait times for new driver licenses and renewals.
This last order will allow tag agents to take on many of the responsibilities that were previously limited to DPS offices, and it will also allow approved testers at schools to administer written exams and in some cases driver tests. Across the state individuals have been waiting for months to get a DPS appointment so this should help with some of the backlog. There are many bills filed to address these issues, but we almost unanimously agreed that immediate action was needed.
In the House, we continued to hear bills in the different committees and many passed including: a bill on tax credits for rural physicians, a bill designed to protect your private data from big tech companies, and a bill protecting the religious freedom of Oklahomans titled the “Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act.” For a full list of the bills I have filed visit my House member page at https://www.okhouse.gov/Members/District.aspx?District=37.
Our legislative week ended with Governor Stitt announcing that the next phase of COVID vaccine distribution will begin on Feb. 22. Starting on that date, Oklahomans under age 65 with comorbidities as well as Pre-K-12 teachers and other educational staff will be eligible for the vaccine. The vaccine is available at no cost to all eligible groups. To schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or to register to receive a notification when you will be eligible, please use the Vaccine Scheduler Portal here: https://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov/.
That’s it for this week! Stay safe during the winter weather we will be getting over the coming days.
As always, if I can help you with anything, feel free to call my Capitol office at (405) 557-7355 or email me at [email protected].