Rep. Williams: House secures major conservative wins
Last week was a long, but productive week at the Oklahoma House.
We started our week with 168 seconds of silence in recognition of the 26th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. My colleague Rep. Rick West of Heavener presented House Resolution 1024, which I coauthored, in recognition of the anniversary. He was working for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture at the time of the bombing but happened to not be in the building on that day. He lost seven co-workers that day and shared some memories of them with us.
All Oklahomans remember where we were on this tragic day. I believe it’s incredibly important to recognize the impact of this horrible act of violence, especially as the years go on, so that our younger citizens can better understand what that day meant for our state and nation.
The House heard many bills this week, including House Bill 1237. This legislation would establish an intra-branch legal process to challenge unconstitutional federal actions. Upon recommendation from the Legislature, the executive branch, through the attorney general, could review any federal executive order, federal agency rule or federal legislative action for constitutionality. The governor could then seek judicial branch intervention when necessary to prevent unconstitutional federal overreach in Oklahoma. HB1237 was widely supported in the House.
The House also approved legislation to name Oklahoma a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. Senate Bill 631 states that any law, executive order or similar regulation ordering the buy-back, confiscation or surrender of firearms from law-abiding citizens will be considered an infringement on the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Recent action from the federal government has again highlighted the necessity of this legislation to protect our Constitutional rights.
On Monday, the House approved the “Save Women’s Sports Act” to protect the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports teams. Senate Bill 2 would require certain athletic teams to be designated based on an athletes’ biological sex.
Sports present important opportunities: these athletes can earn college scholarships and learn the value of hard work and teamwork, as well as staying physically fit and having fun. But science tells us that the bodies of biological men have a significant competitive advantage over the bodies of biological women.
When we ignore this reality, female athletes are automatically disadvantaged on the field and lose medals, public recognition and athletic scholarships. SB2 would protect women’s sports by designating them for women; without this legislation, we risk the possibility of someday having only men’s sports and co-ed sports.
We also took steps to ensure we would be prepared for Medicaid expansion, which is slated to occur on July 1. Oklahoma voters narrowly approved State Question 802 in June 2020.
Senate Bill 131 is a fiscally responsible option that proposes that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority oversee the state’s Medicaid program in-house. This would shape the future of Medicaid and health care in our state for decades to come.
Authorizing OHCA to manage the state’s Medicaid program in-house would cost the state significantly less in appropriations every year than the proposed alternate plan, SoonerSelect. SoonerSelect would cost at least $2 billion to sign the contracts and would inevitably incur more costs over time. Our proposed plan would cost about $263 million annually. A state-based plan is more fiscally responsible to our taxpayers.
As always, please feel free to contact my office if I can be of any assistance. It’s an honor to represent District 28 at the State Capitol!
Rep. Danny Williams, a Republican, represents House District 28 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes Seminole County and northern Pottawatomie County.