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Senate Review

Senate approves seat belt bill


The Senate passed an important deadline this past week. All Senate bills must have been heard in committee by February 27 in order to be heard on the floor and continue the legislative process. Our next deadline is March 12. All Senate bills must be heard on the floor by this date.

The full Senate recently approved my first bill this session, which is aimed to protect our children in the event of a car crash. Current Oklahoma law does not require children ages eight to 17 to buckle up in the back seat of a vehicle. Senate Bill 1303 would change our law to require anyone 17 and under to buckle-up in the back seat. The driver and front-seat passenger of a car must always wear their seat belt regardless of age.

Oklahoma is the only state in the entire country that doesn’t require a seat belt for kids eight and older riding in the back seat, so it’s no coincidence that vehicle fatalities are the number one cause of death for children eight and up in our state. AAA ranks us 50th in the nation in protecting children in car crashes. I’m not okay with this statistic, and neither should my fellow Oklahomans.

This issue was brought to my attention by Drummond Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members Danica Jordan and Destiny Hudson. Both of these girls lobbied for stricter seat belt requirements after experiencing firsthand the difference a seat belt can make in a car crash. I commend both of these girls for their passion. They are proof that everyone has a voice in our government, and everyone can make a difference. Both Danica and Destiny will be instrumental as this bill proceeds through the House.

The governor recently hosted Oklahoma’s first prayer breakfast, and I was honored to attend the event. More than 1,200 leaders from across the state gathered to pray for Oklahoma’s future and our citizens. We are focused on becoming a Top 10 state, and finding God’s direction will play a big role in making it there. This will become an annual event, and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow.

I also want to give an update that I met with hospital administrators from the district last week. We had great conversations about our health care system and expanding access to care for more Oklahomans. As more health care details emerge, I will share them with you.

It was great to see many folks from Enid this past week – approximately 75 community leaders attended Enid Day at the Capitol. The group heard from Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, Rep. Chad Caldwell, Rep. Denise Crosswhite-Hader and myself.

Finally, I would like to thank the Oklahoma Farm Bureau for naming me a “Farm Bureau Champion” based on my voting record and advocacy for agricultural issues. Rural Oklahoma and our farmers and ranchers are important to me, and I’m honored to be a loud voice for agriculture at the Capitol.

As always, my office is always open to your call or visit. You can reach us at 405-521-5630, via email at, or find us in room 413. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.


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