Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Economic Growth May Be Seen Despite Recession

A new wave of jobs may be coming to the Norman area in the future with the help of a bill that would make it easier for people to purchase wind turbines.  

HB 2247, authored by Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore), would give a 40 percent tax rebate to those that purchase small wind turbines in Oklahoma.  

Terrill said the bill is vital to developing energy independence in the state and would also provide new jobs because of the increase of production.  

"This would provide numerous jobs for the people of Oklahoma,"  Terrill said.  "But wind power is only part of the solution."  

There are also bills in the Legislature that would increase funding for the development of natural gas vehicles and also new geothermal technology.  The wind turbine bill would have to compete with those different energy bills when the Senate debates the issue in the next couple of weeks.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The House of Representatives gather as they debate a new voter ID bill.  The governor vetoed a similar bill shortly before the debate.  

Lawmakers ask questions over a bill that would require a photo identification to vote.  This led to some controversy after the governor vetoed a similar measure only 20 minutes before the debate.  

Voter ID Has New Life

A bill that would mandate all Oklahomans to show indentification in order to vote has new life after the governor vetoed a similiar measure today (04/08).

Senate Bill 4 was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Brad Henry because he said the bill would try to disenfranchise those who have a hard time receiving an ID, such as the elderly or minorities.

But that did not stop Rep. Sue Tibbs, R-Tulsa, from getting a similiar bill past the House. Tibbs said this issue is important because it makes sure the voting process is fair.

"We addressed several Democratic concerns by allowing the free voter ID card as an eligible form of identification, but obviously Gov. Henry is more interested in political posturing than protecting our voting process," said Tibbs. "The House and Senate have spoken, now the governor has spoken. We believe it is time to allow the people of Oklahoma to have their say."

The new bill that past the House would bypass the governor and let the people of Oklahoma vote on the measure. Oklahomans will be able to decide if they agree with the governor or Tibbs in 2010.

Sen.  Debbe Leftwich's office, where inside she is working on amendments to a child pornography bill.  She hopes the bill will crack down on child abusers across the state.  

Sen. Debbe Leftwich talks about the new child pornography bill that she co-authored in the Senate.  She hopes the new bill will make child predators think twice before downloading child pornography.  

Oklahoma Cracking Down on Child Predators

Several Oklahoma lawmakers are trying to strengthen the penalty for those who transmit child pornography via any electronic device.

Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, is the House author of Senate Bill 1020, which would give those who transmit child pornography a sentence of five years to life in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

The current law states that an individual would receive a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if he or she sends any child pornography. Unlike the old law, the bill would include some new technologies including sending child pornography via the internet and cell phones.

“I’ve carried almost all of those statutes clamping down on sex offenders and tightening up on the child pornography offenses,” Terrill said. “It’s an area that’s pretty important to public safety and it’s an area that I care a lot about for obvious reasons.”

The bill passed the Senate unamimously on March 9 with a 44-o vote, and then it passed the House on April 7 unanimously with a 95-0 vote. The bill now heads to the governor where he is expected to sign it into law.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Domestic Violence Issue for Lawmakers

A bill that would allow women to defend themselves if they feel the life of their unborn child is threatened passed the House Monday (03/30).

Senate Bill 1103, authored by Sen. Glenn Coffee (R-OKC) and Rep. Mike Thompson (R-OKC), states that a "a pregnant woman is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect her unborn child."

Rep. Mike Thompson said the bill was a request by the group Americans United for Life. He said there was a case when a Michigan woman was protecting her unborn child from her boyfriend; the woman stabbed a knife in the boyfriend. He said Oklahoma will not replicate what has happened in Michigan.

"I wanted to do it to protect mothers and unborn children," Thompson said.

The bill passed the Senate early this year with a 44-0 vote. The House passed the bill in another unanimous vote of 95-0. The bill now goes to the Senate where lawmakers will look at the House amendments to the bill, then it will go to the governor where he is expected to sign it into law.