Lawmakers adjourned the Second Regular Session of the 56th Legislature on May 3. Barring any future special sessions, senators and representatives should be in our districts full time between now and the start of the 2019 session. After such a busy year and a half, time back in District 36 will be a welcome relief.
My colleagues and I were able to accomplish some significant policy achievements this session. Just this past week, the members of the House and Senate sent the constitutional carry bill to the governor’s desk. As you might remember, I am the House author of Senate Bill 1212, which removes the requirement for law-abiding citizens to first obtain a government-issued permit before carrying a gun. The Second Amendment provides us with the right to carry firearms, and any bureaucratic red tape that gets in the way of that right should be removed.
My legislation, House Bill 3347, also went to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration. This measure increases government transparency for county and municipal budget hearings. If the governor signs the bill, local governments would be required to post meeting notices on their websites in addition to the newspaper.
My physical therapy licensure compact bill is also on Gov. Fallin’s desk. This bill establishes requirements for state participation in a licensure compact and creates a commission for the member states, but it won’t waive the sovereign immunity of those compact states. This should increase Oklahoma’s access to care, as well as physical therapists’ ability to practice in neighboring states.
On May 3, Gov. Fallin signed a measure that I served as the House author of – Senate Bill 1327. The legislation authorizes a county clerk to contract with general counsel through an outside law firm upon approval of the board of county commissioners. This new law takes effect Nov. 1.
Two bills that received a lot of attention this past week were House Bill 1140 and House Bill 2177. HB 1140 protects religious liberties of private adoption agencies. As a co-author of the measure, I’m proud to stand up and defend a private organization’s right to exercise its beliefs and moral standings. The bill prohibits the Department of Human Services from revoking or denying an agency’s license based on refusal to participate in the placement of a child that violates its policies. That measure is currently sitting on the governor’s desk.
And HB 2177 authorizes counties, municipalities, schools and all other political subdivisions to display replicas or statues of historical documents such as the Ten Commandments, Magna Carta and Bill of Rights on public property. I also co-authored this measure, as we’ve worked hard to make sure historically relevant documents have the right to be displayed on certain public property. If Fallin signs this bill, that will finally be the case.
During the interim, please know I’m available if you need anything. You can reach me at Sean.Roberts@okhouse.gov or by calling 405-557-7366. Thanks, and may God bless you.
Rep. Sean Roberts represents District 36, which includes parts of Osage and Tulsa counties.