Session business before Christmas

by Jessica Garvin

Bill filing is underway and Senate staff are busy researching the nearly 1,700 bill requests made for the upcoming session. I’m currently working on around 20 measures and have already filed five. This week, I’d like to share a few of them.

I actually filed the first bill of the session, SB 1, which is a bill I filed last session that sailed through the Senate but unfortunately didn’t get through the House committee process. This would improve transparency of school carryover funds and also untie districts’ hands as to how much they can carry over from year to year. This bill is about local control. It would require school districts to submit, and the State Department of Education to publish on its Oklahoma Cost Accounting System and School District Financial Information website, the amount of carryover in each district’s general fund as of June 30 of the preceding fiscal year as well as a descriptive purpose of the funding action or expenditure for which the funds may be used. It also directs the carryover amount to not include federal revenue and removes language placing limits on the amount of general fund carryover a school district is allowed as well as the penalties for exceeding those limits.

SB 6 would require every health benefit plan offered in the state to provide coverage for the retrieval of eggs or sperm in insured individuals who have to receive a medically necessary treatment, like for cancer, that can cause iatrogenic infertility. This was brought to me from a constituent last year and has been something I, along with Senators Haste and McCortney, are passionate about supporting this. Senator Haste carried this bill last year and I’m excited to try to keep it moving this year. When cancer patients have to choose between becoming a parent or receiving life-saving treatments, we’re doing something wrong. No person should ever have to make this decision and the passing of SB 6 would ensure that anyone wanting to become a parent someday, but also needing cancer treatments would have the ability to be both a survivor and a mother or father.

SB 8 would add cider to the list of products a brewer could manufacture, sell, and serve. The bill would also allow visitors under the age of 21 to tour the premise, except the service area. Additionally, this would authorize brewer, small brewer, winemaker, distiller, or small farm winery licensees to host off-site events following the submission and approval of an application to the ABLE Commission. Our state’s brewing industry is growing, and this is yet another step to support them as they work to expand.

In closing, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. With the prices of food and everything skyrocketing, this can be a difficult time of year so I wanted to share that if you or someone you know is looking for an organization providing a free Christmas meal or other food assistance, please call 211 or visit They will connect you with charities near you providing such services.

Write to Senator Jessica Garvin, State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 237, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105, email: or call (405) 521-5522.