Brad Boles Column: House Continues Committee Work

by Brad Boles

It’s been another busy week at the Capitol. On Monday, the House passed legislation asking sheriffs and jailers to work with federal immigration agencies in situations where a person has been confirmed as an illegal immigrant.
House Bill 3195, authored by Rep. John Pfeiffer and which I coauthored, requests that local law enforcement alert federal immigration agencies to a person’s immigration status and hold them for up to 48 hours while federal officials arrive.
Members of law enforcement have asked lawmakers to outline their role in these situations. Oklahoma has seen several cases where illegal immigrants were released by local law enforcement despite their immigration status having been confirmed.
HB3195 passed the House 78-21 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
On Tuesday, we unanimously passed a measure to add strangulation during a domestic violence incident to the list of violent crimes.
House Bill 3371, by Rep. Ross Ford, adds domestic violence strangulation as a violent crime, which means a convicted person would have to serve 85% of their sentence prior to consideration for parole. It also increases the punishment for the offense, which is currently one to three years, to two to 10 years.
Although strangulation is currently classified as a violent crime, our current statute lowers the penalty for strangulation when it occurs in a domestic violence situation. Strangulation is a violent crime no matter who it affects. Studies show that women who have suffered a nonfatal strangulation with an intimate partner are 750% more likely to be killed by that same person later with a firearm. I’m glad for Rep. Ford’s leadership in removing this oversight in our laws and protecting the public from menaces to society, and was glad to coauthor this important legislation.
Also on Tuesday, we were joined by the State Regents for Higher Education Day. Cameron University brought a delegation of students and administrators from their Lawton and Duncan campuses to the Capitol. My colleagues from southwest Oklahoma and I enjoyed having lunch with them and visiting about the future of higher ed in our state.
Wednesday was another busy day. I passed three of my bills through the County and Municipal Government Committee, which I chair, and presented another bill to the House Appropriations and Budget Committee that successfully passed through committee. Later that evening, I attended a reception hosted by the State Chamber, where I enjoyed visiting with many business and community leaders from District 51 and throughout the state.
Wednesday was also Oklahomans for Health and Parental Rights Capitol Day. This organization seeks to educate and defend the issues of parental rights, health choice, medical privacy and informed consent. They promote advocacy for the protection and strengthening of these rights for all Oklahomans. I was among the legislators recognized with an award for being a “2019 Star Voter for Health and Parental Rights” due to my voting record in support of these policies.
The Senate recognized the Tuttle Tiger cheer team on Thursday for winning state. I joined Sen. Lonnie Paxton, Rep. Brian Hill, and Rep. David Perryman to applaud their achievements and we really enjoyed visiting with the team. After we finished our floor business for the day, I was able to make it back home from the Capitol in time to watch my son Matthew’s first grade class school play that evening.
On Friday morning, I joined other local area lawmakers at the Duncan Chamber Legislative Breakfast. We discussed how things are progressing at the Capitol and answered questions on legislation from business owners and constituents. This is always a great forum to hear directly from constituents on any questions or concerns they may have.
It’s such an honor to represent the people of District 51 in the Legislature. Please reach out to my office with any questions. You can contact me at ‪(405) 557-7405 or ‪brad.boles@okhouse.gov. God bless!‬‬