June 29, 2020

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “For the Children” Weekly Column

Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117

Email: jdorman@oica.org

 

 

For the Children: A Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, CEO – OICA

 

 

OICA to Host Tele-Conference on Medicaid, Work with Lawmakers on Interim Studies

By the time that you likely read this, the June 30 party primary election will have been decided. Congratulations to the winners of each of those elections! We look forward to working with the outright winners tomorrow, and those who are elected in the November general election.

OICA is currently in the planning stages of an online forum to discuss the merits of health care for Oklahomans based upon the outcome of State Question 802, which voters will have decided on June 30. Access to health care will require much planning as we go forward, no matter how the vote turns out. We hope to help educate Oklahomans about the programs available to assist them and to raise awareness with this discussion.

The conversation will be held Monday, July 6 at 11:45 a.m. on Zoom and is free to join. To sign up, please go to OICA.org and fill out the pop-up box.

We also would like to thank those lawmakers who filed interim studies to review various policies. Interim studies are filed by lawmakers to do “deep dives” into issues to see if a current policy is working sufficiently, if there is a need to alter course, or if something needs to be eliminated. These studies use the resources of their legislative staff and professionals within that field to help lawmakers get the information needed to make wise decisions.

Here are a few that were filed and will be conducted over the next six months. You can see the full list at https://www.okhouse.gov/Committees/ShowInterimStudies.aspx

  • 20-013 by Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman, looks at how play-based learning leaders to better mental health and better academic outcomes.
  • 20-025 looks to the need to expand the scope of physical education in Oklahoma by Rep. Danny Sterling, R-Tecumseh.
  • 20-048 was requested by Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, and looks at infant/maternal mortality rates in Oklahoma.
  • Reps. Mark McBride, R-Moore, and Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin, jointly filed 20-057 to explore student and school improvement models and digital improvement platforms.
  • 20-061 will be extremely important to rural Oklahomans. Rep. Lundy Kiger, R-Poteau, will study current rural connectivity and broadband expansion.
  • Thank you to Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, for filling 20-064, a study to look at blended and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • At the top of OICA’s priority list, Rep. Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, filed Interim Study 20-078 to look at balances for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), behavior in schools and suspension policies.

OICA has been working with lawmakers for several sessions to find ways to improve counseling services for students who act out in the classroom to determine the reason. By delving into the issue, this could significantly reduce suspensions for students and causing setbacks from learning due to lost classroom time.

These studies will now be reviewed by House Speaker Charles McCall and the various standing committee chairs who oversee these issues to approve, combine, or reject the requests. The studies that are approved will be held later in the summer and fall months. OICA will keep you posted about further details, along with the upcoming state Senate studies.

The child advocate for this week is Ben Odom. We would remind you to have a happy and safe Independence Day but remember that an average of 250 people make a trip to the emergency room each day with a firework-related injury this time of year.

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