We’re now just over halfway through the 2023 legislative session. More than 400 bills made it all the way through the Senate, and nearly 480 made it through the House. At this point in the session, those bills have now crossed over into the opposite chamber to be heard in committee, then they’ll be considered again on the floor.
Senate bills must have a House author who will shepherd them through the process in that chamber, and vice versa, so in addition to my own Senate bills, I’m also the principal author of 19 House bills. On Tuesday, I presented seven of the 11 House bills on the agenda for the Senate Aeronautics and Transportation Committee.
One of these bills in particular really resonated with me, not only as a policy maker, but as a father and grandfather. House Bill 2010 is also known as “Andy’s Law,” and it is named for a nine-year-old boy named Andy Free who died of open-air carbon monoxide poisoning after his family had spent a day on Lake Eufaula. The kids had been wakeboarding and the boat had been started and stopped several times. Andy’s mom realized by the end of that day the children were acting disoriented. He rolled off the boat, into the water and never came back up. Andy had not drowned – his mother, Cassie, later learned he died from carbon monoxide that had built up from the boat. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea this could happen.
Countless Oklahomans enjoy boating and other watersports and I think most parents do everything they can to follow water safety rules and protect their children, but like me, never realized that carbon monoxide poisoning was something to watch out for. HB 2010 simply would require Oklahoma boats to display a carbon monoxide warning sticker. The measure was approved by the committee unanimously and will next be considered by the full Senate.
Our committees only have until April 13 to complete votes on bills sent over from the House, so we’ll continue to focus much of our attention on that task in the coming days.
Numerous other groups from Senate District 20 have also been at the Capitol recently, and I want to give a special thank you to the communities of Cleveland, Pawnee and Perry who were well represented at Main Street Day. This program began in 1986 and is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to help reinvigorate the historic main streets and centers of commerce for communities throughout the state through preservation, revitalization and economic stimulation.
Revitalized downtowns and the many wonderful events our communities sponsor and promote help attract and grow businesses and jobs, and improve the quality of life for citizens. To all who work to make our communities, towns and cities the best they can be, thank you so much – you are helping create a better future for us all by preserving and building on our past.
Please feel free to contact my Capitol office with any questions or concerns you may have about legislation or other issues impacting our state at 405.521.5628 or at Chuck.Hall@oksenate.gov.
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