Archive for the ‘Rep. Kris Steele’ Category

"Safe Families Legislation" Heading Towards Senate

March 2, 2007

Two measures that are part of House GOP’s “Safe Families Legislation” are making their way towards Governor Henry’s desk. Under a measure passed by House lawmakers on Thursday, court-appointed special advocates (CASA) would be required to undergo background checks by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

“Many local CASA agencies already have background check requirements, but this measure will establish a statewide standard for all so we can protect the integrity of the good work these advocates perform,” said Rep. Kris Steele (R-Shawnee), author of House Bill 1927. CASA volunteers play such a vital role in determining the placement of a child that has been abused or neglected. This builds on the work of the Oklahoma CASA Association.” HB 1927 passed the House floor by an overwhelming margin Thursday, 92 to 1. It now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

Later today, legislation increasing required prison sentences for sex offenders is headed for a vote on the House floor.

House Bill 1816, authored by Rep. David Dank would increase the penalty for sex offenses against children under 12 to a minimum sentence of 25 years and not more than life imprisonment. No minimum sentence currently exists for such offenses.

“We must make sure, for our children and our grandchildren, that Oklahoma is a safe place to grow up,” said Dank (R-Oklahoma City). “It’s a fact that far too many sex offenders come to our communities and have the opportunity to prey on the innocent.”

The measure passed a vote of the House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on Thursday.