Getting bills through committee

Ponca City Now - February 14, 2020 12:22 pm

By Sen. Bill Coleman

Committee schedules were full this week as we began working through hundreds of bills. More than 100 bills were approved.  Bills with a fiscal impact were sent on to the Appropriations Committee and policy measures will next be heard by the full Senate.

On Monday, two of my bills passed out of the Health and Human Services Committee.

SB 1517 decreases the number of names the Oklahoma State Medical Association must submit to fill a vacancy as it relates to physicians on the Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board from 6 to 3 and increases the number of names the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association submits from 2 to 3.

SB 1518 authorizes the Administrator of the Health Care Authority to appoint a designee to review requests made by an applicant or recipient adversely affected by a decision of the Authority to conduct a hearing. Additionally, the designee is authorized to issue a decision after the hearing.

On Tuesday, two more of my bills were approved in the Transportation Committee.

SB 1218 creates the Bison License Plate and directs that the license plate shall be designed in coordination with the Oklahoma Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

SB 1294 creates the Veterans of Foreign Wars license plate and the Oklahoma Veterans of Foreign Wars license plate.

It was good to see my friend Gary Lanham in the Capitol Tuesday. He is continuing to battle illness admirably.

I met with Sen. Darcy Jech of Kingfisher and Adam Leaming, the President and CEO of the University Center in Ponca City.  There is a group seeking some state funding for a FAB lab, which would be a place where people could share innovative ideas.

I did an interview with KSWO who is doing an in-depth story on diabetes in Oklahoma. Sadly, it is the No. 1 preventable killer in our state and the Legislature is working hard to improve health outcomes and reduce the number of deaths, loss of limbs and other horrible problems caused by the disease.  I did pick up a bill from Senator Smalley to cap insurance copays for insulin at $100 per prescription.

Lainey Gerber, the president of OSU’s Pioneer Media and Sports Media Club, also interviewed me on Pay for Play.  She’s doing a story on paying athletes to play.  This is a topic of growing interest.  As someone who owns sports radio stations, it was also nice visiting with her about her major, classes and future plans.

On Wednesday, the Ponca City Development Authority came to the Capitol for Economic Day. It’s always good to visit with folks from my hometown.

I didn’t have enough space to mention this last week, but I met with some area school superintendents including Brady Barnes with Newkirk School and Traci Thorpe from Pioneer Technology Center.  The Ad Valorem protests being filed by wind companies are causing problems with our schools and their financing. It was great to see them here at the Capitol, and I’m hopeful all parties can get together soon and come up with a solution. It’s always best if something can be worked out without resorting to legislation.

It’s always great to see teachers in my office, and I want to thank the Ponca City educators who stopped by on the first day of session. They continue to advocate for education and their students, and doing so in person shows their true dedication and commitment.

Students from the Ponca City Beauty College also stopped by to share their concerns over a bill that would eliminate the need for licenses in their profession, and how damaging that would be. I was glad to hear them out and will be on their side on this issue.

You can contact me at the state Capitol by calling (405) 521-5581 or by email at [email protected]


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