(Rep. Ed Cannady is the state representative for District 15)
At this time there are more than 5,000 high school seniors who will not graduate due to this requirement even though they have passed all of the courses required for graduation. Several of District 15’s Superintendents came for a rally showing support for the bill, HB 2755, which would exempt students that had met all the state and district’s curriculum graduation requirements from these tests.
The bill was being heard in the House Revenue and Budget Committee rather than Common Education Committee since the Chair of that Committee refused to have it heard. After lengthy questioning and debate it passed on a vote of 11 for and 6 against. It now goes to the full House of Representatives where, as Co-author, I will work hard to get it passed out of the House and sent to the Senate.
On a vote of 8 yes and 5 no, I am pleased to inform you that we had a very good bill come out of Public Health Committee, HB 2267, which I also co-authored. It is called the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act.
This will give local communities the right to permit through local ordinances to go beyond current state regulations on smoking in these places. As a former smoker, I recognize that this can be very controversial but it should be decided at the local rather than state level.
We must address the health cost to this without creating a negative economic impact on our state and area. In that sense, this will deal with consumption not sale of tobacco products. It will proceed to the House in the next week or two and I will keep you posted on its progress.
A bad bill came out of the Common Education Committee on a vote of 9 yes and 7 no and will head to the House next week. I voted against this bill in that it attempts to micro manage our science classes by stating that “no student in any public school shall be penalized because the student may subscribe to a particular position on scientific theories.”
As a former teacher, I have asked students to analyze certain theories and conclude which one best describes a specific event or circumstance. Their grade will be based on their evidence and conclusion. If they merely subscribe to a theory without defending it their grade would be penalized. As a teacher, does the state not want be to challenge them to defend their subscribing to a particular theory. I would hope not!
Another bill that passed over my no vote in the House Public Safety Committee was HB 2574 which required those individuals purchasing and setting up a mobile or manufactured home to have them anchored according to the manufacturer’s manual. While this is seen as a safety issue, it is also an expansion of government and will require mobile home parks with 11 or more homes to ensure that the owners of these homes will come into compliance. This is an expansion of government at a time when we are talking about cutting taxes and shrinking government.
I was encouraged to have HB 2367 pass out of the House which would allow local tag agents to employ or contract with a Department of Public Safety certified person to give the DPS recognized Class D written portion of the Oklahoma driving examination to any person who has applied for a learner permit or a Class D driver license.
Drivers License teachers with proper DPS certification can administer these tests. This will help our local rural youth who are about to get their license without driving 40 miles to the nearest testing center for their written exam.
It was great to have students from the Stigler Kiamichi Career Tech Campus visit at the Capitol. I wish I had more time to visit with them but our Committee schedule is on a fast pace.
We are trying to get ready for Senate bills next week.
If you would like to have my weekly Notes sent to by email each week, please contact me at the address below. If you wish to contact me please utilize any of the following: PO Box 98, Porum, OK 74455, by email at [email protected] , home phone: 918 484 5701, cell: 918 448 5702 or Legislative Assistant, Gene Fowler, at 1 800 522 8502 or 405 557 7375 and fax 405 962 7685 at the Capitol. Web Site http://www.edcannaday.com Ed Cannaday