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By KEN MILAM
POTEAU – Local lawmakers gave area residents an update on pending legislation at a free community breakfast Monday morning at the Poteau community center.
Three state senators and two representatives spoke at the event, sponsored by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
The 2022 legislative session begins Feb. 7.
Lawmakers will be considering bills on topics varying from abortion to gun control to mask and vaccine mandates to public safety and more.
Sen. Warren Hamilton said he is backing bills requiring law enforcement officers to be U.S. citizens, preventing people under age 21 from getting medications for transitioning from one gender to another, preventing mask and vaccine mandates and tightening voting and election security.
Sen. George Burns said the Every Mother Matters Act provides counseling and opportunities for women considering abortions to instead give their children up for adoption.
Burns said another bill would allow funeral homes to pick up fatal traffic crash victims and hold them for the medical examiner. He said current law requires bodies to be undisturbed at the crash scene until a medical examiner arrives, which can take hours in some cases.
Sen. Mark Allen said he is backing anti-vaccine mandate and gun rights bills.
Allen said plans are progressing for improvements to Highway 9 from Sunset Corner. Another bill would give homeowners more time to relocate if they sell their property to the state Highway Department.
Another bill would require insurance companies to cover new treatments for traumatic brain injuries.
District 3 Rep. Rick West said he is focusing on public safety and helping the timber and trucking industries in southeastern Oklahoma.
Rep. Eddy Dempsey he is focusing on wildlife bills, protecting the Glover River and providing uniform service statewide from motor license agencies.