Alva Review-Courier -

Senate Review

Bill would require suicide hotline on student IDs

 

March 23, 2022



We had a busy few days last week before we adjourned for a shortened spring break. While we are approaching our deadline of March 24 to hear Senate bills in our chamber, we’ve had some lengthy agendas, and I expect that trend to continue. When we began the legislative process nearly two months ago, there were a combined 1,500 measures we could’ve considered when you take in account carryover bills from last session. As we approach the halfway milestone this session, we only have about 400 Senate bills left. We’ve already given final approval to 182 of them, with close to 200 more available for consideration. Safe to say we’ve whittled these measures down a lot since we convened as a body during the first week of February.

Of these bills, we approved legislation last week that would help children and young adults suffering a mental health crisis. SB 1307 would require schools with student IDs to print the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on the ID card. Sadly, suicide is the second leading cause of death among Oklahoma’s youth ages 10 to 24, and the rate of suicide continues to rise, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. Adding this number to a student ID would give our children struggling with a mental health crisis immediate access to someone who can help. Our hope is this measure will save lives – and let’s be honest, even one life saved is worth the effort.

The governor announced an exciting initiative last week about Oklahoma joining Louisiana and Arkansas to become a “hydrogen hub,” to promote this new clean and affordable energy source. To go along with this announcement, the Senate approved two measures giving tax credit incentives to companies investing in hydrogen engineering and hydrogen-powered cars. Our state has abundant natural resources, and this is another way we can promote Oklahoma’s ability to be a nationwide leader in clean energy.

I had a great time at the Oklahoma Youth Expo last week – especially at the legislative showmanship competition. I was paired with McCoy Landwehr from Drummond 4H, and he helped me show his steer. It was a great time to be around some of our state’s best and brightest students while soaking in the industry I love. The Senate also raised $2,775 to help support students that made the OYE Sale of Champions. I’d like to congratulate all of our 4H and FFA members on all of their hard work and success at the world’s largest junior livestock show.

I’m also pleased to welcome Colton Tripp, a junior at Blackwell High School, to the Capitol as my page this week. Colton will get to see the legislative process first-hand and even participate in a mock legislative session called “Pageville.” I know he’ll have a great week and gain a lot of knowledge during his time here.

If you haven’t heard, there will be a Grant County Town Hall held at the Medford city office on April 1 at 10 a.m. If you’d like to learn more about what’s happening at the Capitol, I welcome you to come join us.

It’s an honor to serve as your voice at our state Capitol. Please feel free to reach out if there is anything I can help you with. You can contact me at 405-521-5630 or via email at [email protected]

 

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