The Pryor Times

April 20, 2013

Legislation aims to make schools safer


Doug Cox State Representative House District 5

— Naturally, after the school shootings that took place in Connecticut every state has been passing legislation to try and prevent the possibility of a similar event taking place in their area. Oklahoma is no exception. Four bills related to school safety passed the House and have gone to the governor for her signature. Parents will notice no change other than your children may mention that they now do “lockdown drills” in addition to the fire and tornado drills that we are all familiar with.

Another bill waiting for the governor’s signature to become law is one that would redirect five percent of the motor vehicle collection tax to pay for improvement and maintenance of 15,000 miles of county roads in our state. This will provide some needed resources for our county commissioners. All of our commissioners have been caught in the crunch of rising asphalt prices and lower income from fuel tax over the last decade. Higher fuel prices mean people are conserving and buying less gasoline. Since our counties get a few pennies from each gallon sold, their budgets have been negatively impacted. This new legislation should help them patch some of the pot holes we all have to dodge.

Another attempt to ban texting while driving in our state failed. This issue seems to be dead for this session. I am sure it will come up again next year and eventually will pass.

The use of hyperbaric (high pressure) oxygen to treat our veterans with brain injuries and posttraumatic stress disorder is under consideration by your legislature. Currently OSU Medical Center in Tulsa is providing free hyperbaric treatment to all veterans with such issues. Persons seeking treatment may call Lisa Terry at the OSU College of Health Sciences. Her number is (918) 828-4015. Treatment is part of a national study and is provided at no cost to the veteran or civilian who has suffered a brain injury.

I have received many emails from you about protecting our Second Amendment right to bear arms. There are no gun control bills active in the state legislature at this point. That is a debate taking place on the national level in Washington, D.C.

Summer time is here and that means it’s time for Trader Days in Salina. Every month on the second Saturday and the preceding Friday you can buy, sell or trade the items of your choice at the Salina City Park. There is no charge for setup and everyone is welcome.

This time of year there are always a lot of motorcyclists out for a ride. Highway 20 south of Spavinaw, known as the Spavinaw Trail, is one of the best rides in the country. The adjoining roads that snake through Salina, Jay and Kenwood are renowned for their twisty, scenic ride.

 I can be reached at dougcox@okhouse.gov or (405) 557-7415.