The second week of legislative session brought a lot of action on health care measures in committee and the coming week promises to be busy as well as committees continue and floor work starts ramping up.
Here is a rundown of last week:
-Anti-vaccine measures: Three measures were put on the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism agenda. The author laid over two of his bills, SB1128 and SB1729, after extensive questioning from some members of the committee. Another bill, SB1157, which would allow those dismissed due to noncompliance to an employer’s vaccine mandate to be eligible for unemployment, passed through committee 8-4, despite questions.
-Newborn screenings – SB1464, which would require the list of newborn screenings match the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to the extent practicable, passed committee.
-Commissioner of Health – SB709, which would allow someone to serve as commissioner of health as long as they have a master’s degree and experience managing state agencies or large projects, also passed committee. If this becomes law, Interim Commissioner of Health Keith Reed would meet the qualifications to remain as commissioner.
-Licensing – SB1289, which would remove the requirement that appointments to the Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision be made from a list provided by the Oklahoma State Medical Association, passed committee.
Here is what we expect this week:
Medical power of attorney – SB1596, which will replace the medical power of attorney statute that was repealed last session, is scheduled to be heard in committee. Oklahomans for Life had concerns with the introduced version and negotiated with the bill author for changes. We believe a compromise has been reached and the bill can move forward. We expect the House bill also to be heard soon.
We also will be watching for more anti-vaccine measures to be heard. We are tracking about 90 after pulling in dormant bills from last session.
Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you for being involved.