(Rep. Ed Cannady is the state representative for District 15)
By Rep. ED CANNADY
Continuing an issue from last Journal, the House passed HB 2267, Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act on a 57-30 vote. It will go to a Senate Committee and then to the Senate Floor.
Here is my concern: it had two amendments added to it that basically neutralized it. First on a 43-34 vote it was amended to allow local communities to have rules on smoking less stringent than state standards.
Secondly, on a vote of 42-33 it was amended to exclude private dining and social clubs from the impact of this law. If you are in favor of true local control of this issue, I would ask you to contact friends and families throughout the state and have them contact their Senator to remove these amendments.
As a former 30-year smoker, I am very aware of the problems that relate to smoking. Some of you may disagree with me on this issue and I respect that view. I merely want local communities to be allowed to address this issue but not to the extent that they could allow smoking in schools or similar public places.
This was a case of opponents amending a bill in an attempt to kill it as seen in the author of one of the amendments voting against the bill even after the amendment was attached. This was a case of a bill being amended into insignificance. I would challenge those of you who support the original bill to see if we can have these amendments removed and allow the bill to move on as originally written.
There are times in committee when bad or even stupid things get passed out but hopefully are caught on the House Floor. The following is a case in point. In Public Safety Committee Representative Blackwell presented a bill, HB 2589, for an absent member, Rep. Joyner.
This dealt with existing law concerning the Department of Public Safety and its use of images displayed on licenses and identification cards used to create photographs or computerized images for the purpose of criminal investigations, missing person investigations, or any law enforcement purpose.
This bill removed the need to have a written request from the Commissioner of Public Safety due to the frequent need to expedite this procedure. However, Rep. Blackwell presented an amendment for the absent Rep. Key to restrict this process within the state of Oklahoma.
I asked if they would not hamper intra-state compacts or reciprocal agreement on sharing of criminal data including photo images. I was informed that it would prevent this. The alarming thing is that the bill passed with no other questions being raised.
As I followed up on this I find that this would destroy any effort at intra-state criminal investigations. Now we have to try to keep the bill from being heard on the House floor or take Rep. Key’s amendment off.
As a point person for education by the Democratic Caucus I recognize that for the last two years the legislature has given allocated revenue to the Department of Education without any specific instruction on how it should be spent.
This week we have passed HB 2512 which will correct that by the following statement. “The Legislature shall present measures each year that allocate funds appropriated to the State Board of Education among the activities and programs provided by law.” This will go to the Senate for a hearing now so we need your help in making that happen.
A highlight of the week was the opportunity to recognize the Panama Lady’ Backs fast pitch softball team as the state’s 2A state champions. This is District 15’s first state championship team during my terms as its Representative.
The 13-member team had an impressive record of 32 wins and 10 losses. Equally impressive is the fact that their coaches were all school administrators. Head Coach and Superintendent Mr. Grant Rawls; Asst. Coach and High School Principal Mr. Richard Haynes; and Asst. Coach and Middle School Principal Mr. Jamie Hoffman. For those who feel that our school administrators are overpaid, they need to follow in these folks’ footsteps for a while.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org , home phone: (918) 484-5701, cell: (918) 448-5702 or Legislative Assistant, Gene Fowler, at (800) 522-8502 or (405) 557-7375 and fax (405) 962-7685 at the Capitol. Web Site http://www.edcannaday.com.