Oklahoma City

House Democrats call for special session to address COVID-19 crisis – The Journal Record – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2021-08-02 19:31:07 –

On Monday, Democrats in the Oklahoma House added their voice to a special session call to address COVID-19, but not for the same purpose as the Senate Republicans quoted in a similar request last week. .. (Photo by Janice Francis-Smith)

Oklahoma City – On Monday, Democrats in the Oklahoma House called for a special session to address COVID-19, but for the same purposes as the Senate Republicans quoted in a similar request last week. There is none.

Parliament could so far convene a special session independently of Governor Kevin Stitt, as so many lawmakers will reconvene before the regular meeting begins in February to coordinate state legislation on pandemics. I have. He expressed his desire to do so.

Oklahoma law allows the acting Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House to call special sessions by joint order at the written request of two-thirds of the members of each meeting room. A sufficient number of lawmakers may have agreed on the issue of the special session, but the actions to be taken regarding the pandemic are so divided that it is possible that both sides will get what they want in the event of a special session. low.

With the resurgence of a new infectious disease in Oklahoma with the COVID-19 delta variant, face-to-face guidance was juxtaposed at the beginning of the school year, and Democrats called for a special session to abolish Senate Bill 658 on Monday. rice field. It was passed during the 2021 Legislative Assembly and entered into force on 1 July. Prevent local school districts From the implementation of the mask policy.

“What must happen before we take COVID seriously?” Said House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman. “ICU has children. Our school is about to open without the ability to protect staff and students, and as the number of cases continues to grow, our vaccination coverage is at its worst in the country. One. If the Governor is about to relinquish his responsibilities, the Legislature must act. The House Democratic Caucus is to give Congress the opportunity to abolish Senate Bill 658 and act on the school district. , Calling for an immediate special session. “

House Democrats issued a statement from 14 members of the caucuses. Of the 101 members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, 19 are Democrats and 82 are Republicans.

“It’s frustrating that the state’s leadership has defended local rule until the lives of our children are at stake,” said Mickey Drens, D-Oklahoma City. The parliamentarian said. “Community management is good for schools, the economy and the community. Whether you agree or disagree with a particular health policy, we are all best done by those whose decisions are directly influenced by them. I agree with what will happen. We need to allow the community and schools to protect themselves. I am calling for a special session with my colleagues. “

SB 658 allows schools to carry out mask mandates if Stitt declares a state of emergency, but it is unlikely to do so. The school responds by politely asking everyone on campus to wear a mask, following the guidelines of the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors. increase.

On July 28, Oklahoma State University issued a message encouraging the use of masks indoors in public, especially in situations where social distance is not possible and in close contact with others. At this time, under Oklahoma State Law (EO2021-16 and 70OS 1210.189), it is not permitted to require the use of masks on campus. “

Instead of requiring vaccinations, universities offer students incentives to get vaccinated. Students who upload their vaccination proof to the University Health Services portal will participate in a random draw every eight weeks. Raffle prizes include treasurer credits, iPads, football suite tickets, free parking and more.

Norman Mayor Briar Clark has come online to express her support for the Democratic Party’s call for a special session. This post quickly gathered comments, both in favor of and against the proposal.

“If you want to keep your kids in face-to-face classes this fall, you’ll need to use the SB658,” Clark wrote.

Meanwhile, State Senator Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, I sent a letter to Stitt last week, Calls on the Governor to convene a special session for Congress to draft legislation that prevents private companies from demanding vaccination of employees.

Hamilton responded to the news that some medical institutions in Oklahoma have required workers to be vaccinated and that similar obligations made by Texas medical institutions are upheld by courts. He said he wanted to ban it. COVID-19 vaccine is required.

“The Oklahomans heard their voice-they don’t want to be forced by the government or any company to take any kind of vaccine,” Hamilton said. “Why do we have to use such power to get so many people to do something that is good for them?”

Nearly 20 of the 48 members of the Oklahoma Senate signed the letter, and Hamilton claimed that nearly 1,100 individuals expressed their support for the idea. The letter was approved by activists for health and parental rights, the Second Amendment to the Oklahoma, 14 Sheriffs of Oklahoma, and a few church ministers.

“My hope is that the Governor will use his executive powers to convene us into a special session and protect the rights granted by the great American God we are privileged to represent. It’s about being able to fulfill our obligations, “said Hamilton. “The problem is neither the effectiveness nor the safety of the vaccine, but rather the obligation. An entity that has the authority to force a person to put something into his or her body, contrary to his or her will, by injection or ingestion. there is no.”

Call for a special session in Oklahoma attracted national attention over the weekend after Republican Chairman John Bennett of Oklahoma compared evidence of the Star of David vaccination that Jews need to wear in Nazi Germany. I did. Bennett even faced backlash from Republicans by posting a Star of David on Facebook that appeared to have a computer chip attached, labeled with an ID number and the word “unvaccinated.”

Bennett turned his plea to Lieutenant Matt Pinel, as Stitt was abroad at the time, and asked his supporters to direct their request to Pinel.

“Please politely request a special legislative assembly to address the obligations of the private employer vaccine, or employees will face the risk of dismissal,” Bennett posted. did.

By Sunday afternoon, Bennett had used the controversy as a fundraiser and asked supporters to donate. Bennett doubled the analogy in a six-minute video posted on Facebook, while praising those who invaded the Capitol on January 6 as “patriots,” and continued to former President Donald Trump. Expressed support.

“If the government wants to do something to help its citizens, instead of enforcing vaccine obligations, pass laws and bills that protect these businesses and avoid being sued by those who claim to have captured COVID. At restaurants and stores because someone didn’t wear a mask and didn’t have a vaccine, “Bennett said in a video. “Instead of telling them that we need to mandate these vaccines and these masks, how about protecting private business owners that way?”

House Democrats call for special session to address COVID-19 crisis – The Journal Record Source link House Democrats call for special session to address COVID-19 crisis – The Journal Record

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