With less than two months to adjournment, the Oklahoma Legislature remains hard at work to address critical issues facing the state of Oklahoma. At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, over 2,000 bills were introduced, ranging on topics health, taxation, and education.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) has been hard at work advocating for evidence-based policies that will improve the health of all Oklahomans. An example is legislation that would adopt healthy nutrition guidelines for vending machines on all state properties. House Bill 1613 by Rep. Katie Henke and Senate Bill 621 by Sen. Kyle Loveless, were introduced this session and aimed to increase healthy options on all state property. This bill did not receive consideration this session but the AHA/ASA will continue to advocate for making the healthy choice the easy choice next session.
One bill that is still under consideration is House Bill 1463 by Rep. Elise Hall and Sen. Jason Smalley. This bill will update the current law regarding our stroke systems of care in Oklahoma by incorporating evidence-based practices and recommendations for stroke care. HB 1463 has cleared the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and will next be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The AHA/ASA has worked closely with public health partners to support legislation that would make all school property tobacco free, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. House Bill 1685 by Rep. Lee Denney and Sen. Jim Halligan, was just approved by the Senate and will return to the House before being transmitted to Governor Mary Fallin.
Lastly, as the state faces an estimated 600 million dollar budget deficit, the AHA/ASA will work to preserve critical public health and tobacco cessation program funding, so that evidence/based programs continue to support health outcomes in Oklahoma.
If you are interested in learning more about the AHA/ASA’s State legislative agenda, contact Naomi Amaha, Oklahoma Government Relations Director, at [email protected]
Have you taken action yet to ask your lawmaker to support of House Bill 1463? Take a minute and take action by clicking this link http://p2a.co/PLAYPzx