Whirlwind week at the Capitol

by Jessica Garvin

The first week of session is complete. More than 100 bills made it through the committee process, and we also approved our first bill on the Senate floor allowing public bodies to continue meeting virtually through the pandemic. 

My Senate Bill 4 was approved by the Health and Human Services Committee Monday.

It authorizes pharmacists to substitute an interchangeable biological product for a prescribed biological product under certain conditions. The product must be approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration as an interchangeable product and the patient must be informed of the change. Pharmacists must make an entry into their records showing the product’s name and the manufacturer within five business days after dispensing it. An entry into the electronic records system is presumed to provide notice to the prescriber. It also directs the State Board of Pharmacy to maintain a link on its Internet website to the current list of all biological products determined by the FDA to be interchangeable with a specific biological product.

This first week was a whirlwind. We started by convening in the Senate Chamber and then moved on to joint session in the House for Gov. Stitt’s State of the State Address. I attended our Republican Caucus lunch and prayer meeting that day as well. The rest of the week was focused on committee work and visiting with constituents about issues important to them.

I want to discuss the group of pro-life measures that were approved this week in committee. While a vast majority of people in our district and around the state support these measures, I have gotten calls and emails asking me why I voted for them.

As a woman who has lost an unborn child, I feel strongly in protecting the sanctity of life. That is why I voted yes on these bills.  There is no greater pain than losing a child and that pain stays with you for the rest of your life. If my ‘yes’ vote on these bills saves just one woman from experiencing losing a child and, ultimately, saves a child’s life, then that is all I can ask. We must fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.  

I’m proud to have supported these important pro-life measures:

SB 918 would, in the event the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the central holdings of Roe v. Wade or Planned Parenthood v. Casey, restore the state’s authority to prohibit abortion.

SB 584 prohibits the use of public funding from being made available to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America or to any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics found guilty of trafficking in fetal body parts.

SB612 would make abortion illegal in Oklahoma unless it is required to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency. It would make be convicted of performing an abortion a felony and provide for up to a $100,000 fine, up to ten years in prison or both.

SB 778 and SB 779 would provide safeguards surrounding the use of abortion-inducing drugs.

To some, these types of bills aren’t important but I just want everyone to understand that I’ve experience the loss of a child and, therefore, want to protect other women from intentionally creating the grief that I have from my miscarriage.

This coming week is going to be extremely busy with packed committee agendas. We have three weeks left to take committee action on as many of the remaining roughly 950 Senate bills as possible. We have no time to waste. While I’m new, most legislators aren’t and many of their bills last session weren’t able to be heard because of the pandemic shortening the session. It’s a race to get as many heard as possible by the Feb. 25 committee deadline. 

If you’d like to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the Senate, be sure to sign up for our press releases on the Senate website at www.oksenate.gov. You can also read bills, check schedules and agendas, and listen in to committee and floor proceedings.

If you have any questions or concerns on legislative matters, please contact me at the Capitol. Please write to Senator Jessica Garvin, State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 237, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105, email me at Jessica.Garvin@oksenate.gov or call (405) 521-5522.

Comanche Times
United for Oklahoma - April