I recently had several people help me pass out pocket-size copies of the U.S. Constitution to eighth-graders throughout House District 3.
I'd like to thank Liz Wilson and Bruce Pipkins, who also spoke to students about the importance of the Constitution, as well as Kelly Meredith, James and Joy Chaplin and Bob Hawley who helped distribute the documents to the students in our schools.
Federal law requires that each educational institution that receives federal funding must hold an educational program each year to teach the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, Constitution Day. Many adults don't even know what is in our Constitution or the enumerated powers it spells out for the federal government. It's important to our national liberty that we keep teaching our kids about this founding document and all the ways it helps us govern. All Americans need to know what's in the Constitution and what's not.
On another topic, I visited recently with school superintendents from LeFlore County and told them what I found out from the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) about the policy of trying to go cashless for admittance into tournament games. I hoped the superintendents would support my efforts in trying to ensure people can still pay cash for entrance into these games. We don't live in a cashless society, and honestly it's dangerous to go in that direction. Our ability to purchase what we want at any time easily could be taken away from us if we go cashless. We don't need to give the government that much control over our lives. It's also hard for people, like grandparents, who don't have a credit card or a cash app on their phone, to enjoy these games – some of their only form of entertainment.
I was assured by OSSAA Executive Director David Jackson that cash would still be accepted and no one would be turned away from the games if they only had cash to pay. I'm told by constituents this is not entirely true. I would encourage anyone with a concern to call Mr. Jackson directly, (405) 840-1116.
On a final note, I received an email recently from Haley Faulkenberry with A&A Advocates who shared that a piece of federal legislation by Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., could set back the work I did last session on getting the Hannah McKenzie Act signed into law.
As many will remember, this act requires opioid substitution treatment programs operating in Oklahoma to comply with all federal regulations, including observed drug testing services. The act was named for a young woman from our House district who died after being illegally administered Methadone by someone who received a take-home supply of this Schedule II narcotic.
U.S. Senate Bill 644 would expand access to methadone for an individual’s unsupervised use. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on which Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-OK, sits. I'll be reaching out to him to let him know the tragedy that occurred in our House district and to ask him to please help kill this bill.
As always, if I can help you with anything, feel free to call my Capitol office at (405) 557-7413 or email me at email@example.com.
- Rick West serves District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of LeFlore County.