McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Opinion

February 28, 2014

From the Capitol

McALESTER — As we wind down the fourth week of the session, we are in deadline week to get bills out of committee. I filed six substantive bills; four were heard in committees. One has passed on the House floor and is headed to the Senate.

Two of my bills were to benefit seniors. House Bill 2767 requires Home Health Agencies that provide care for Medicare patients to implement a drug testing program for their employees. HB 2763 would give a tax deduction for grandparents raising their grandchildren. Both of these bills are on a list of bills supported by the “Council of Aging.” They will be sending a “position” or letter of support for these two bills.

My third bill (HB 2766) is a bill requiring the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to license and regulate animal crematories.

HB 2765, which is a housekeeping bill for the Department of Agriculture, has already passed the House floor and is on its way to the Senate.

Another bill I filed, HB 2768, did not get a hearing in committee. This bill would have required that sex abuse prevention be taught at early childhood level.

My HB 2764 did not get a hearing in committee. This was a bill to outlaw gas chambers in Oklahoma for euthanasia of small animals. Even though this version was not heard, the Senate companion bill with the same language is making its way through the Senate, and I will be the House author of that bill. As you can see, the subject of my legislation this year is seniors, children and animals.

I attempted to revive my regional water groups’ bill from last year but could not get a hearing for it. You know I am not one who necessarily believes that you have to pass legislation to be considered successful in the Legislature. In fact, two years ago I did not file a bill. The bills I filed this year are bills that I firmly believe would be helpful and are needed in Oklahoma.

Yesterday in the States Rights Committee, the chairman, Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Arcadia), took one of his own bills and completely changed it. He changed the section of law and the subject matter. When a member of the committee questioned the germaneness of the two different subject matters, Rep. Moore ruled they were germane because they both were about Oklahoma. When a member objected, the chair failed to recognize him; when a member requested a point of order, he was not recognized. Remember the name of this committee: “States Rights.” Only in Oklahoma...

The state Capitol is very much in need of repair. The big controversy is how we go about funding it. Senate Bill 2044 proposes a $160 million bond issue to fix the Capitol building. Others want to fund it a little at a time out of the Rainy Day Fund. There are some legislators who feel a bond has to be approved by a vote of the people, rather than the Legislature. I feel it is ironic that the House spent $2.5 million on “luxury remodels” of legislators’ office spaces and meeting rooms before a master plan of improvements for the Capitol has been determined.

The Senate spent $3 million doing the same remodeling. The spectacular Senate conference room is unbelievable. There are 48 chairs in this conference room that cost approximately $675 each; the drapes for the windows cost $2,400 each; and the shutters on the windows cost $2,000 each; as well, the Senate built a kitchen off the side of this meeting room. All of this occurred while pieces of marble are falling off the exterior of this magnificent building. Only in Oklahoma....

For the next two weeks we will be very busy on the House floor. These are deadline weeks to get bills out of their Houses of origin. My next two reports will be addressing bills that are either passed or killed on the House floor.

Visiting the Capitol on Senior Day (Monday) were Ellen Young, Carla Brunson, Bonnie Moore and Kim Rose; also coming by this week were Trice Butler, Richard Peckio, Dr. Michael Auld, Dr. Doug Auld and County Commissioner Roy Alford.

Visiting on Thursday were a number of FCCLA students and teachers; from Panola we had advisor Rene Allison and students Jaylynn Holloway, Chelsey Karstens and Caleigh Taylor. This group had a booth in the fourth floor Rotunda where they were able to meet and greet other FCCLA students and many of the legislators who came by to learn of projects they have completed during the past year. It was very impressive.

From Haileyville we had advisor Kristi Lindley and students Sabrina Garvin, Skylar Garvin, Macey Petersen, Hailey Gordon, Kaylie Stephens, Christa Meyers, Joy Picotte, Autumn Mitchell, Audri Gleason, Cheyenne Lardi, Brandi Moore, Roy Clark, Kaylee Tyson, Ashton Sockey and Sydnay Wilkerson.

Juanita Sherrill also brought a group of gifted and talented sixth, seventh and eighth graders from Frink-Chambers Elementary School.

It was great having all of you come by. We welcome any and all visitors.   

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him — Lamentations 3:25. Have a blessed week.

District 17 State Rep. Dr. Brian Renegar, DVM, of McAlester: 504 State Capitol, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105 405-557-7381 brian.renegar@okhouse.gov.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Saundra Kaye Offill

    Saundra Kaye Offill, 67, lost her 7 year battle with Alzhiemer’s on Thursday, July 10, 2014. She was born in McAlester, Oklahoma on March 11, 1947, to Louis and the late Melba Vanlandingham.

    July 16, 2014

  • Square logo.jpg ‘Is anything sacred anymore?’

    Editor:
    What do we know about the “The Star Spangled Banner” ?

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg Any hope in new MPD facility?

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donald Sterling needs to go away

    Whether it happens due to a quick settlement or a likely longer trial, Clippers owner Donald Sterling just needs to go away.

    June 19, 2014

  • CHRIS-MORRIS-2.jpg Prescription drug abuse

    Tip of the Week
    You can be arrested for driving under the influence of prescription medication, so follow your recommended dosage or don’t get behind the wheel.

    June 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kevin Durant Kevin Durant’s grace period will end soon

    After his 7th season ended Saturday with the Thunder’s Game 6 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, the grace period for Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant may soon be drawing to a close.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Billy Guy Ferrell

    Billy Guy Ferrell, died Saturday, May 24, 2014, at a nursing home in McAlester.

    May 30, 2014

  • Square logo.jpg Congress faces risky decision on National Security, local aerospace jobs

    When you’re in the middle of errands and your fuel gauge hits the red zone, what do you do? Skip the gas station and try to make it back home on ‘E’? Even if you make it home, what will you do the next time you need to drive your car? It’s not worth the ten minutes saved. Who wants to be stranded on the side of the road, forced to walk to the nearest filling station or wait for a tow?

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Lamb From the Capitol: Staycation in Oklahoma

    With the summer travel season quickly approaching, many Oklahomans are making plans for their summer vacations. I would encourage Oklahomans to look in our own backyard and explore all that Oklahoma has to offer this summer. All ages and all travel enthusiasts can find something of interest here at home.

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.