Senate to vote on House bills

Sen. Bill Coleman

Last week was our final week for Senate committees to consider bills sent over from the House of Representatives. The full Senate must now complete floor votes on those measures by April 27. We'll also continue reviewing the governor’s executive nominations and working on the budget.

Several of my House bills made it through the committee process. One will help our local restaurants that are partnering with courier services, such as DoorDash or Uber Eats, by requiring them to have an agreement on transportation. Right now, if a consumer orders from a food delivery service and receives their order very late, or perhaps damaged, the restaurant is solely responsible. This bill gives some of the responsibility to the delivery service. With the popularity of food delivery increasing, this is an important consumer and business protection we need to have in place.

There are two public safety measures – one to speed up the process of serving emergency temporary protection orders, and another authorizing Oklahoma to join the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact. The compact will help increase public access to EMS personnel, enhance patient safety, encourage cooperation among member states on EMS licensure, support licensure of military members, facilitate the exchange of information between member states regarding EMS personnel licensure, adverse actions, and significant investigatory information, promote compliance with laws governing EMS personnel practice in member states, and give member states the authority to hold EMS personnel accountable through mutual recognition of member state licenses.

I’ll discuss my House legislation more in the coming weeks as they’re considered by the full Senate.

Last week, we honored the brave men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard, who fight to defend freedom around the world but also help in our local communities and other states when natural disasters, like floods and tornadoes, happen. You may not realize this, but the Guard was active even before statehood and has fought in numerous conflicts throughout history. It was a privilege to honor and recognize their patriotism and dedication.

We also observed Agriculture Day to celebrate the industry that has shaped our great state. The rotunda was filled with several agricultural businesses and organizations sharing about the many contributions made by our farmers and ranchers not only throughout Oklahoma but around the globe. This is currently one of our top five industries, contributing billions of dollars to our economy and providing thousands of jobs.

In honor of April being Autism Awareness Month, we recognized Autism Day at the Capitol. The CDC now reports that one in 36 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Early diagnosis and therapy are essential to help children with ASD reach their full potential. That's why it's crucial that they receive a developmental screening at their 18-month wellness check. Therapy for autism is extremely expensive, but families can receive free services and other assistance through Sooner Star through age three. You can find out more at https://oklahoma.gov/health/family-health/sooner-start.html.

You can contact me by calling (405) 521-5581 or emailing Bill.Coleman@oksenate.gov.