GUEST

Rep. Sterling: Recent Bills passed by the House

By Rep. Danny Sterling

House Bill 1236 by House Speaker Charles McCall and Rep. Mark McBride overwhelmingly passed the House last week. These bills are focused on strengthening Oklahoma’s state sovereignty through an assertion of rights outlined in the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

HB 1236 creates a new law stating that the Oklahoma Legislature may review any federal executive order, federal agency rule or federal legislative action to determine constitutionality. Upon recommendation from the Legislature, the Attorney General will review the action to determine constitutionality. Additionally, it precludes a publicly funded organization from implementing any action that restricts a person’s rights or is deemed unconstitutional.

The House also passed two major education bills. The first bill, House Bill 2078, would amend the school funding formula to make money follow the student and curb the number of non-existing – or ghost – students currently allowed in the system. This will in time increase the carryover capacity for schools – especially smaller schools.

The second, House Bill 2074, would allow Oklahoma students to transfer between public school districts at any time. A student transfer would be limited to two times per school year, and the student could re-enroll at any time in their home district.

The bill would allow receiving districts to determine capacity limits for each grade level at the schools in their district. A district could deny a transfer if a student has 10 or more unexcused absences in one semester, or if the student has violated discipline rules existing in state statute.

I want to also add that if in the future unintended consequences arise, we can always go back and address them legislatively.

The House Utilities Committee announced last week they plan to hold hearings to examine the storm’s effect on utility bills and identify measures to prevent astronomically high utility bills after future storms. The hearings are part of multiples steps announced by state leaders to examine the aftermath of the recent winter weather.

Lastly, a few personal updates I have. House Bill 2381, which I authored, passed out of the House A&B Committee and will soon be heard on the House Floor. This bill addresses a physical fitness assessment that measures aerobic capacity, body mass index, and strength and endurance measurements.

Also, as Chairman of the House Rural Caucus, I scheduled and hosted a presentation that addressed the COVID vaccine rollout for the state and current updates from the State Dept. of Health. In the House Rural Caucus we also had a presentation on the current and future rural broadband expansion and how that is being supported by the Oklahoma Electric Cooperative.

I look forward to all the bills that will be heard on the House Floor this session and it is an honor to serve the state of Oklahoma. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to my office. My email is Danny.Sterling@okhouse.gov and you can reach my office by phone at (405) 557-7349.