Tonight I was on national TV on Fox Business talking about my bill (SB 327) to restore some free market principles to employment law in Oklahoma.
I don’t want the burdens of Obamacare to be compounded by Oklahoma’s unique law making smokers a protected class.
Today, Senator David Holt appeared in an online chat for The Oklahoman on transparency at the Legislature. A partial transcript can be read here.
Today I had the opportunity to visit three schools in the 30th Senate District – Council Grove Elementary in the Western Heights District, Putnam City West High School, and Lake Park Elementary in the Putnam City District.
Thanks to all the teachers and administrators who took the time to host me today. It was a great day!
Today, I was very excited to announce the culmination of months of work with the bipartisan introduction of the “Parent Empowerment Act” (SB1001) with Senator Jabar Shumate (D-Tulsa). Here is the release, here is coverage from KFOR, and here is coverage from KWTV.
Since 1991, Oklahoma has treated smokers as a protected class in employment, compensation and benefits. I know of no other lifestyle choice that enjoys the protections we otherwise rightfully award things like gender and race. Some laws are testaments to good public policy and some are testaments to good lobbying. This is the latter.
My bill, SB 327, will repeal this burdensome government mandate, so that private sector employers can have the free market freedom to make their own decisions regarding the employment of smokers who are going to cost them more money than non-smokers. With Obamacare’s mandate on employers to provide health insurance looming, the time is now to lessen that burden. I will fight this law for the same reasons I have fought Obamacare.
Today in Oklahoma, it is illegal for an employer to charge an employee a higher health insurance premium or raise their deductible if they smoke, even though that personal choice will significantly raise costs for the employer. This is wrong, and I will work to change it. Yesterday, I did interviews with KFOR and KOKH on the bill. Here is the KOKH story. Here is the KFOR story. And here is a story from The Washington Times.
Today, StudentsFirst, led by education reformer Michelle Rhee, endorsed a “parent trigger” law for Oklahoma. Here’s the language from their report:
“Oklahoma does not have a parent trigger law. To give parents more options, the state should establish a parent trigger law that allows a majority of parents to band together at the grassroots level and petition to turn around a low-performing school.”
Here’s the link to the full report.
Today was “Organizational Day” for the Oklahoma Senate. We were meeting for the first time since “Swearing-In Day” last November.
We handled some housekeeping, such as adoption of the rules and ratification of committee assignments. We also formally re-elected Senator Brian Bingman of Sapulpa as the President Pro Tempore. We then held a brief joint session with the House of Representatives. We will return on Monday, February 4th for our annual four-month session, which will commence with the Governor’s State of the State address.
As always, contact my office if you need anything. The number is (405) 521-5636 and my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.