OKLAHOMA CITY – State Senator Roland Pederson filed two bills this week as the filing deadline for the 2017 legislative session came to a close.
Pederson filed Senate Bill 221, which creates the Debra Reed Act and calls for stricter punishments for underage drivers convicted of DUI. The bill adds an amendment to current law that stipulates that any person under 21 who is convicted of driving under the influence would have driving privileges revoked or denied by the Department of Public Safety until the person turns 21 years old. The bill also proposes to rename the law after Debra Reed, who was killed by an underage drunk driver in 2013. Her family has spent several years advocating for lawmakers to pass harsher punishments for underage drunk drivers.
“Driving under the influence endangers innocent people every day and attributes to thousands of deaths each year,” said Pederson. “The provisions of SB 221 would put stricter laws in place to curtail underage drinking and driving, which in turn will save lives.”
The Burlington legislator also filed SB 510, which pertains to the Oklahoma Sorghum Resources Act. The bill directs any unexpended balance contained in the Oklahoma Sorghum Resources Fund as of November 1, 2017, to be transferred and deposited to the credit of the General Revenue Fund of the State Treasury. It also repeals several provisions of the law in order to privatize the Oklahoma Sorghum Commission.
“I’m looking forward to getting started on our work soon. Budget hearings will begin shortly, and we will have many bills to consider in the window of a few months,” said Pederson. “One of my priorities is to maximize state dollars where possible and privatize in the areas where savings could be realized.”
The deadline to file bills for the 2017 session was this week, with the Senate filing a total of 831 bills, 46 Senate joint resolutions and one Senate concurrent resolution. Appropriations bills are not subject to the January bill filing deadline and can be filed anytime during the session.
The 2017 legislative session will reconvene on Monday, February 6. Constituents can download bills at www.oksenate.gov and follow them throughout the legislative process. The Senate offers streaming audio and video from the Senate Chamber, as well as from all committee rooms. Wi-Fi access is available to all Capitol visitors throughout the Senate gallery, rotunda, committee rooms, offices and press rooms. Legislative updates can also be followed on Twitter at OKSENATEINFO.