Please consider donating blood

Sen. Bill Coleman

Session is winding down. While we’re not sure when a budget agreement will be announced, constitutionally we must be finished by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27.  Negotiations are getting very close.

Work is also ongoing in the various conference committees to work out amendments on bills and get them to the governor’s desk.

We’ve also returned to our committees to begin working through the 150 executive nominations sent to us by Governor Stitt for our many state boards and commissions. I’m proud to be carrying three of these from Ponca City on the governor’s behalf before the Senate Education Committee and then the full Senate.

Bradley Fox is up for consideration to serve a five-year term on the Board of Regents of the Northern Oklahoma College. Natalie Fraser will be considered to serve an unexpired term ending in June 2026 to the Board of Trustees of the University Center at Ponca City. We will also consider Stephen Scott to continue his service on the Board of Trustees for the University Center at Ponca City for another nine years.

On Tuesday, May 3, the Senate and House met for a joint session in honor of Veterans Awareness Day at the Capitol. Among those receiving recognition were Ponca City couple, Randall (Bud) and Becky Coon, who received the Veteran Family of the Year Award. Randall is retired Air Force, and together with his wife saw needs at risk of not being met for veterans and their families in northwest Oklahoma. They began the work that later became formally organized as Veterans Landing, helping veterans in Kay County and the surrounding area. They provide support and aid to Oklahoma’s heroes in need of food, housing, hygiene products, clothing, safety equipment, transportation to medical appointments, employment referrals, social connection, and fellowship. I’m so glad the Coons' dedication and service to their fellow veterans was honored in this special way.

We also had another event last week, the Capitol Blood Drive – a friendly competition between the Senate and House to see which chamber could donate the most blood. I’m proud to say that the Senate won, and altogether more than 50 people from both chambers donated blood. There were even more willing donors than the Oklahoma Blood Institute had space for.

Events like these are crucial right now, as you may have heard recent commercials or radio spots, but Oklahoma’s blood reserves are dangerously low. It’s critical that our hospitals and other medical facilities have a continuous supply of blood year-round. On Wednesday, May 4, Seminole was hit by a tornado and while fortunately no one was hurt, that’s not always the case when these storms strike. Our state is no stranger to natural disasters and we’re in what is normally the most active month of storm season. For this reason and for the many Oklahomans who need blood transfusions for health reasons or other accidents, we must do all we can to ensure our state reserves are full at all times, regardless of what’s happening in our communities.

Unlike other essentials, like food or clothing, blood is a unique necessity that can’t be manufactured or produced when demand increases. It comes only from the generous donations of our fellow Oklahomans. Our medical community requires approximately 1,200 daily blood donations just to meet the basic health needs of our state. I’ll hope you’ll join us in finding a local site and donating blood. Every donation impacts three lives, so please consider helping your fellow Oklahomans. You can find locations or more about donating at www.obi.org.

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