By Rep. John Talley, District 33

 

(Oklahoma City, Okla) — On Thursday, the House finished hearing House bills in committee, and we’re looking ahead to considering them on the House floor. I passed two of my own bills through committees this week ahead of the deadline.

 

House Bill 3491 passed the House Government Efficiency Committee on Wednesday. This policy was brought to my attention by health care attorneys. They requested the bill to clarify that if they, as attorneys, receive consent from patients, they are able to share that information to get them help. This is especially important in situations with indigent or homeless people. The bill passed its committee 10-0.

 

I also passed House Bill 3500 through committee Wednesday as well. The bill, which deals with regulations surrounding drones, was heard by the House Transportation Committee.

 

In current statute, there are about 15 things that drones are not allowed to fly over in Oklahoma, including the State Capitol. HB3500 would add crude oil storage facilities to that list, as well as prohibit the use of infrared cameras on drones to gather information about the facility. It also outlines punishments for anyone caught breaking this law, including confiscation of the drone, a misdemeanor charge, up to six months in jail, or a $1,000 fine.

 

I worked closely with the Safety Alliance of Cushing as I developed this legislation, since Cushing is a hub of North American oil and connects drilling operations to refineries in the Gulf. It stores about 50 million barrels of crude oil, making Cushing a major player in the state, national and international economies.

 

I introduced HB3500 to restrict the use of drones by unauthorized individuals attempting to collect information. While drones have great potential to aid many industries, it’s important we set clear boundaries regarding critical infrastructures like the oil storage facilities in District 33.

 

I’m proud to represent the hardworking people of Cushing, and I understand the high level of security that must be maintained to protect the oil storage facilities and their personnel. I’m very pleased HB3500 passed the committee 8-1 because I know it will have a great impact in District 33.

 

Both of these bills are now available to be considered on the House floor. While we’ve spent most of our time in committee, we’ve also heard and passed several bills off the floor as well.

 

One bill we passed this week was House Bill 3823, which was authored by Speaker Charles McCall. This bill takes a big step in helping improve health care options and outcomes for rural Oklahoma by providing a $25,000 tax credit for doctors who move to a rural area to practice.

 

Rural Oklahoma faces a severe shortage of quality health care professionals and many citizens don’t have easy access to primary care. As a result, we rank near the bottom in the entire nation for health care outcomes. Many rural doctors who are currently practicing are nearing the age of retirement, however, and HB3823 incentivizes younger doctors to move to and invest in rural areas of our state.

 

Next Tuesday, Stillwater High School is hosting a free seminar by Dr. Tess Chesher from the OSU Center for Health Sciences. Dr. Chesher will speak on the effects of adverse childhood experiences in early years of life, as well as how that trauma can affect a person as they grow older. This will be a great resource. Kids are very important to me, and I understand the effects of childhood trauma. I hope you will register to attend to learn more about what we as a community can do to help children who have undergone a traumatic event. You can register at stillwaterschools.com/overcoming or find out more info from Collett at [email protected].

 

The House will spend hours on the floor next week to vote on the 469 bills that passed House committees. I encourage you to reach out to me about legislation you’re passionate about. You can reach me at (405) 557-7304 or [email protected]. Thank you for allowing me to serve!

 

Rep. John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne Counties.