Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Government News

February 23, 2012

Lawmakers Focus on Meth Problem

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — The challenge of combating methamphetamine was a major focus of lawmakers this week. Two significant bills were voted on in House committee. One failed, and one progressed.

Legislation to make pseudoephedrine products prescription-only narrowly failed to pass.

House Bill 2375 would have made it illegal to sell pseudoephedrine products without a prescription. The drugs are often used to produce methamphetamine, and proponents said the bill would deny meth cooks access to the ingredients needed to make the drug.

The bill was supported by law enforcement officials who said it would reduce meth production, but opposed by medical officials who said it would needlessly punish law-abiding citizens by making it difficult and more expensive to obtain allergy medicines.

House Bill 2375 failed on a 6-7 vote in the House Public Health Committee. A similar measure was also killed in a state Senate committee.

On the other hand, legislation designed to identify meth cooks and deny them access to pseudoephedrine passed out of that same House committee.

House Bill 2941 would require any pharmacy that sells pseudoephedrine or ephedrine maintain an electronic log of the sale and access a real-time electronic methamphetamine precursor tracking service that will be operated through the Bureau of Narcotics.

Under the legislation, a pharmacy could not complete a sale of pseudoephedrine if the tracking service generates a stop-sale alert. 

The legislation also lowers the quantity of pseudoephedrine product a person may purchase to 3.6 grams per day, 7.2 grams per 30 day period or 60 grams within a 12 month period. 

Individuals who attempt to exceed that limit would be flagged by the proposed tracking service.

Violators would face a fine, and those convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine who attempt to purchase pseudoephedrine within 60 days would face up to 14 years in prison.

House Bill 2941 passed unanimously out of the House Public Health and Safety Committee. The bill now proceeds to the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

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Government News
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    The first major deadline of the legislative session has now passed with work on House bills in the chamber completed on March 15.

    March 22, 2012

  • DHS Reforms Advance

    This week was the last one for House bills to be considered in their chamber of origin, and we took up several major issues.

    Among the most important were measures reforming the Department of Human Services.

    March 15, 2012

  • Annual GAO Report Exposes More Duplication in the Federal Budget, Less Responsibility Coming Out of Washington

    Members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Chairman Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statements today regarding the second annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) report identifying ongoing duplication and areas for costs savings throughout the federal government.

    February 28, 2012

  • Roberts Seeks Local Control on Meth Issue

    Legislation filed by state Rep. Sean Roberts would allow local communities to impose ordinances designed to reduce meth crime.

                House Bill 2802, by Roberts, would allow towns to decide if the meth ingredient pseudoephedrine should require a prescription.

    February 24, 2012

  • Lawmakers Focus on Meth Problem

    The challenge of combating methamphetamine was a major focus of lawmakers this week. Two significant bills were voted on in House committee. One failed, and one progressed.

    February 23, 2012

  • Coburn, Burr Unveil Plan to Save Medicare, the Seniors’ Choice Act

    Today, U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) unveiled the Seniors’ Choice Act, a legislative proposal to help America’s seniors by building a stronger, more sustainable Medicare program through immediate and longer-term reforms, many rooted in long-standing, bipartisan ideas. Non-partisan experts have warned the current Medicare program is facing insolvency due to unsustainable growth, and the Seniors’ Choice Act would fix its shortcomings so that it remains a viable option for seniors participating in the program now and for future enrollees.

    February 16, 2012

  • Fallin highlights more cuts to Oklahma income tax

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin provided more details of her plan to cut the personal income tax for all Oklahomans during her State of the State address to lawmakers on Monday, but had few specifics on how she plans to pay for the ambitious proposal.

    February 6, 2012

  • Lawmaker seeks spending limit on Okla. Legislature

    An Oklahoma lawmaker is pushing legislation that would place new constitutional limits on state spending.

    Republican state Rep. Elise Hall of Oklahoma City says that Oklahoma's public sector could grow too fast without more spending limits.

    January 27, 2012

  • 2011 Wastebook Dr. Coburn Releases New Report on Wasteful Government Spending in 2011:

    U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new oversight report, “Wastebook 2011” that highlights over $6.5 billion in examples of some of the most egregious ways your taxpayer dollars were wasted. This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects spread throughout the federal government. 

     

    December 20, 2011 1 Photo

  • House unveils DHS strategy

    House Speaker Kris Steele and a bipartisan group of five representatives today unveiled the first steps of a strategy to reform the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

    The House’s aggressive, four-pronged strategy is designed to improve DHS through significant study of and potential reforms to governance structure, agency structure, personnel policy and resource allocation. The plan is in response to a shared desire between House members, agency officials and other stakeholders to improve delivery of services by DHS, particularly for children in state custody.

    October 19, 2011

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