By Sen. JOSEPH SILK
We just wrapped up week 10 of the legislative session and we’re working hard in various committees and on the Senate floor to stay on track and focused on our work.
One of the most notable items in the Senate this week was the passage of House Bill 1721, also known as the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. HB 1721 makes dismemberment abortions illegal after 20 weeks.
This is a gruesome method of abortion and is commonly used because it is very inexpensive. Although this bill does not go as far as I would like, it is definitely a good first step. For those of you who know me or have heard me speak know of my firm stance against abortion.
I believe the single most important thing our government can do is protect innocent life from brutal murder. Our founders created the government’s role to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and I believe the protection of life is listed first for a reason. I was honored to be approached by Oklahomans for Life and asked to participate in the discussion and debate on the Senate floor this week.
The bill passed overwhelmingly and is now headed to the Governor’s office. If signed, Oklahoma would be only the second state to make this illegal.
Fortunately, the dangerous water task force bill that I’ve discussed over the last few weeks will not be heard in the House, so that bill is effectively dead. The bad news is that there is now a House bill pertaining to water that passed the Senate appropriations committee and is now heading to the floor.
This legislation would allow a certain prison, under the Department of Corrections, to sell its groundwater to a neighboring municipality. At first glance, this may not appear to be troublesome, but if this bill is signed into law, it could set a precedent giving the state more legal authority to sell and transfer water without a local voice.
I will be working to defeat this bill.
Lastly, I disagree with a Builder Registration Bill which was passed in the House and is now being considered in the Senate. House Bill 1828 would mandate that all those who build, remodel or do any type of construction must be registered with the Construction Industries Board and meet rigid requirements and regulations, including continuing education and fines for non-compliance.
Over-regulating small businesses and self-employed citizens is not the role of government, and would have an immediate negative impact on thousands of working class people across the state. I encourage everyone to call or e-mail each senator and ask them to oppose the Builder Registration Bill HB 1828.
I welcome your questions and concerns, so please feel free to contact my office at the State Capitol if you would like to discuss a particular issue or problem. Our office can be reached by phone at 405.521.5614 or by email at email@example.com.