The Legislative Digest is your weekly look at the happenings of Oklahoma’s state legislature and the bills and politics you need to know.
We’re back from Spring Break and the legislature is still on its bullshit. While Oklahoma’s main governing body does important and often positive work, there is endless room for missteps and mistakes. Here’s a look at the bills that passed, for better or worse.
SR2: Senate Resolution 2 encourages “Congress to provide Medicare Part A and Part B to veterans” because there are serious concerns with their medical care at present. The legislature is right, but it’s frustrating to read anyway. Why do states have to ask Congress to do better by its citizens, especially citizens that were in the military? It’s bullshit, and a resolution, no matter how factually correct it is, seems to fall short of the real urgency of the request. Better healthcare deserves to be phrased as a demand, not a question.
HB2483: This bill restructures the board of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ members and what pool they are selected from, as well as how the commissioner is appointed. The members of the board are no longer required to have backgrounds in specific kinds of health, stripping much of the use from these appointments. It’s likely that board members will still have suitable experience, but it was also likely that the president of the United States would have the necessary experience to run a country, and look how that worked out.
Deregulation is not often as useful as we want it to be, and this seems like a poor move in a time where it’s increasingly important to have people we can trust to be knowledgeable about the organizations they reside over.