Help Authorized for Prisoner Care

On Monday, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law Senate Bill 1668, authored by Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow. This important legislation provides Oklahoma sheriffs with the authority to contract with private security firms to guard detainees or prisoners temporarily housed for treatment in medical facilities outside the confines of jail officials said in a release today.

“This bill is a critical step in maintaining the safety and security of our communities while ensuring that detainees and prisoners can receive necessary medical care,” Haste said. “By allowing sheriffs to contract with qualified private security firms, we can provide the necessary oversight and protection in medical facilities without overburdening our law enforcement officers.”

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AG Drummond Returns DOJ Fire

Two days after the Biden Administration sent a letter threatening to sue Oklahoma over its new immigration reform law, Attorney General Gentner Drummond issued a sharply worded response vowing to defend the law he claimed today in a media release.

In a May 15 letter to Gov. Stitt and AG Drummond, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) threatened to challenge House Bill 4156 unless Oklahoma agrees not to enforce it, claiming the law is unconstitutional and preempted by federal statute.

“This letter constitutes notice … that the U.S. Department of Justice intends to bring a lawsuit to enforce the supremacy of federal law and to enjoin the enforcement of HB 4156,” stated the DOJ. “If you have not confirmed by May 20, 2024, that Oklahoma will forbear such enforcement, the United States will pursue all appropriate legal remedies to ensure that Oklahoma does not interfere with the function of the federal government.”

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Tulsa District 3 Candidate Void

The City of Tulsa is holding general elections for mayor, city auditor, and city council on August 27, 2024 with a filing deadline of June 12th. Council District 3, long my home district, has no candidate on the ballot declared at this time. The current Councilor, Crista Patrick, is stepping down, and there appears to be no civic-minded resident willing to step in the void. Not one.

For many years there was a leap frog term exchange between Roscoe Turner and David Patrick as Councilors for the District. After Mr. Patrick’s passing, his daughter Crista took up the mantle. All have advanced growth and fought what negative issues came with that growth.

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Strengthen Oklahoma Homes Act Signed

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law House Bill 3089 Monday. Introduced by Rep. Mark Tedford, R-Tulsa, and sponsored by Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, the act aims to provide financial grants to construct or retrofit homes, making them more resilient against the destructive forces of tornadoes, windstorms and hail.

Under the new law, known as the Strengthen Oklahoma Homes Act, grants will be made available by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) to residential property owners who meet specific eligibility criteria. These criteria include an owner-occupied, single-family primary residence. The grants are intended to help homeowners achieve safety standards outlined by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).

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The Case for Catoosa’s 911 Dispatch Center

Recently, I participated in a hearing before the 911 Management Authority on behalf of the City of Catoosa. Police Chief Ronnie Benight and I spoke in support of the city’s application to build a 911 dispatch center in its new police/fire station. 

Catoosa submitted its application several months ago, but it was slowed by the Authority’s red tape. In fact, Catoosa’s application was slowed down so much it was in danger of not being approved by the statutory deadline of July 31.

This is a really big deal for our community. Catoosa, in 2022, bonded $20 million for the police/fire station, with $2.2 million of that specified for the 911 dispatch center. Catoosa was very much in peril of losing this application and having to build its dispatch center for nothing.

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