For the Children: Oklahoma House Pursues Child-Focused Interim Studies
The Oklahoma House of Representatives has green-lit 99 interim studies to be held over the summer months, which means legislators will be back in Oklahoma City for meetings soon. More information about each approved study can be found at OkHouse.Gov, along with details of the 46 studies that were requested by members but rejected by the Speaker of the House.
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) suggested several areas for legislators to study and we are pleased with the number of studies which focus directly on children’s policy. Among them are:
• 19-009 by Rep. Jadine Nollan – studying education and discipline in the classroom;
• 10-021 by Rep. Danny Sterling – a review of childhood obesity and diabetes;
• 19-037 by Reps. Carol Bush and Brian Hill – a review of key issues in foster care in Oklahoma;
• 19-073 by Rep. Kevin West – addressing public concerns regarding vaccinations on various sides of the issue;
• 10-074 by Rep. Cyndi Munson, 10-106 by Rep. Jeff Boatman and 10-123 by Reps. Jason Dunnington and Randy Randleman – analyzing various issues tied in with mental health of youth and forms of treatment and care;
• 19-096 by Rep. Mark Lawson – reviewing the Family First Prevention Services Act and Oklahoma needs for compliance;
• 19-109 by Rep. Danie Pae – an analysis of the Earned Income Tax Credit;
• 19-133 by Rep. John Waldron and Melissa Provenzano – a review of training for special education teachers for early intervention issues regarding special needs assistance; and
• 19-138 by Rep. Ajay Pittman – a look at Basic Life Skills Education programs. Many of these studies deal with issues that OICA is directly involved in. We look forward to providing assistance and information to lawmakers as they seek to lay the groundwork for policy improvements and reform.
As these studies progress, we will continue to provide updates to the public. If you have an interest in one or more of these issues and want to be notified, please contact the office of the lawmaker requesting the issue and they will send you the relevant meeting notice. You can contact House members at (405) 521-2711 or look up their email addresses on OkHouse.gov.
The Senate deadline for interim studies was just last week, so we do not know yet which issues had studies filed for consideration. As that information is posted, we will provide those answers in a future column.
Finally, I am pleased to announce OICA will be involved in several upcoming major projects. Our Heroes Ball is on Friday, July 26, and we hope to see a large crowd of supporters there to celebrate those who have done outstanding work for children. Tickets are still available at OICA.org.
Additionally, we have begun making plans for the kick-off of the 2019 Fall Forum and OK Foster Wishes, and we will have some exciting news about these projects in the very near future. Stay in the loop by following our up-to-the-minute updates on our social media feeds and at OICA.org!
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