OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate on Monday overwhelming approved a series of bipartisan bills dealing with veterans’ issues, including a measure that protects the contractual and financial rights of service members that are mobilized or deployed.
“Like all Oklahomans, the Oklahoma Senate has a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the men and women who serve in defense of our nation. Our freedom and liberty are secure because of their sacrifice. These measures are an effort on the part of the Oklahoma Senate to repay the tremendous debt we owe to those who are serving or have served and their families. I appreciate Senator Frank Simpson for leading the charge in the Senate on several of these measures that support our military members and their families,” said President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus.
Senate Bill 227 by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, offers increased protection of service members’ contractual and financial rights by allowing them to cancel certain contracts, like telecommunications contracts and health club memberships, when they are deployed are mobilized.
“As a Navy veteran, I want to ensure the state of Oklahoma is offering the support and help that the men and women of the Armed Forces so very much deserve. We want our veterans and families to know how much we appreciate them and these bills are a small way in which we can honor them and their service,” Simpson said.
Among the other measures were:
- SB 233 by Sen. Simpson which specifies that hourly employees shall not miss out on the first 240 hours of their pay when called to active service.
- SB 456 by Sen. Joe Newhouse, R-Broken Arrow, which aims to help curtail fraud in a program that offers a sales tax exemption to 100-percent disabled veterans and their spouses by documenting those who are eligible for the program.
- SB 642 by Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, which designates a section of Interstate 44, from SW 119th Street to SW 149th Street, as the LCPL Trevor A. Roberts Memorial Highway to honor Roberts, who was killed while deployed to Iraq in 2007.
- SB 42 by Sen. Simpson which updates references to the federal “The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003″ in state law.
- SB 76 by Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, which designates the bridge over Medicine Bluff Creek on Interstate 44 located approximately two and one half miles north of US-62 West as the CPL Wilfred Flores Jr. Memorial Bridge to honor Flores, who was killed while deployed to Iraq in 2007.
- SB 76 by Sen. Bass, which creates the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action license plate.