The Legislative Digest is your weekly look at the happenings of Oklahoma’s state legislature, upcoming bills and the terms to know.
This House Resolution aims to declare the Choctaw Nation, located in southeastern Oklahoma, as “the home of Oklahoma’s treasured rivers and lakes.“ The land was a historically valuable region, being one of the few places where water was abundant.
Despite this, the resolution feels like such a vacant platitude in the face of Oklahoma’s disastrous history of behavior towards both the environment and Native Americans. Oklahoma’s continued practice of fracking alone should make anyone scoff at the implication of environmental respect, particularly when the resolution comes from the Republican Party. The feigned respect for Native communities is also laughable, given the history of Oklahoma’s relations to native populations and the poverty many communities still face.
The resolution isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but it needs to be backed up by actual helpful measures to protect the environment and aid Oklahoma’s native communities.
This bill concerns domestic violence and the criminal justice system’s handling of it. Recent changes supported by both parties would add stipulations to inform victims of particularly awful violence of their right to a lawyer, determined via a “lethality assessment.” The bill also adds that all victims, regardless of the lethality assessment, shall be given information on shelters and programs for domestic violence victims.
Hopefully this bill comes to pass, as it provides much needed help and advocacy for victims of an incredibly heinous crime.
This Senate Joint Resolution seems to reiterate the terms of the Second Amendment, desiring to create an amendment in the Oklahoma Constitution that also guarantees the right to “keep and bear arms.” The proposal mimics the standard ravings of right-wing gun nuts.
I should clarify that I am not personally against a citizen’s right to own guns, but the right-wing obsession with these rights seems so absolutely out of touch and disregards all the other rights being denied today. Most Americans would agree that healthcare is a human right, yet no sweeping legislation has been adopted by a party to address the immense lack of it for so many people. The same goes for food, housing and employment.
This amendment isn’t a particularly dangerous one, but it really shows the degree to which the right wing is willing to delude itself into thinking they are protecting the liberty of the people.