Oklahoma Committees Pass Emergency Response Bills

March 1, 2010

Oklahoma State Rep. Joe Dorman says three bills aimed at assisting and improving emergency response in Oklahoma have passed House committees. All three were authored by Dorman.

House Joint Resolution 1018 would create an income tax check-off to fund the 12.5 percent match required by FEMA to help pay the state portion of disasters and phone lines for reporting needs during disaster relief and recovery. The legislation was passed unanimously by the House Rules Committee.

House Bill 3123 would create two new levels of tax credits for volunteer firefighters. Under current Oklahoma law, firefighters can earn one of two tax credits for training they receive. This legislation would expand the credit to four levels.

House Bill 3123 also passed out of the House Rules Committee, where representatives from fire service organizations were on hand to answer questions.

House Bill 1658 would place health care service providers volunteering their services at secondary school activities under the Good Samaritan Act. The legislation was in response to the death of Justin Barney, a freshman football player from Rush Springs who died from an injury at a game two years ago. Family members were on hand to testify for the bill to the Rules Committee.

The House Appropriations and Budget Committee passed the legislation unanimously, where it will now proceed to the House Floor Leader’s office to be scheduled for a hearing by the full House of Representatives.

None of the three bills will have a negative impact on the state budget, according to a fiscal analysis prepared by House staff, Dorman said.

Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives

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