The Norman Transcript

Government

March 1, 2013

Bills would help state’s veterans

NORMAN — A trio of bills were unanimously approved Thursday by the full Senate in an effort to improve services at the state’s seven veterans centers.

Sen. Frank Simpson, the measures’ author and chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, said the bills are in response to issues brought forth during the Senate Veterans Committee interim study of ODVA in the fall. 

Senate Bill 228 would create the Quality Workforce for Oklahoma’s Heroes Act. The measure would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a pilot program to offer additional educational opportunities to high-performing veteran center employees in exchange for them agreeing to work for ODVA for a certain amount of time.

Another problem discovered during the interim study dealt with the centers only being inspected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which then contracts with private companies to do center inspections.

The Veterans Committee found out that even though the inspections are supposed to be unannounced, staff said they usually know when they are happening and make temporary changes to pass. 

SB 629 would require the state Department of Health to begin inspecting state veterans centers again.

Oklahoma’s veterans centers were exempted from the Nursing Home Care Act in 2003 by the legislature after supporters claimed the health department inspections were an unnecessary duplication because the centers were already subject to federal inspections.  

Finally, SB 237 would exempt ODVA and its facilities from having to pay the Nursing Facilities Quality of Care fee that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority collects from all licensed nursing facilities in the state. These measures will now be sent to the House for further consideration.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Council OKs $48.8M contract for wastewater plant upgrades

    The Norman City Council awarded a $48.8 million project for wastewater treatment plant upgrades Tuesday. The council accepted a $50.3 million low-interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund....

    April 23, 2014

  • Craft breweries new category of Okla. made

    Norman will now recognize Oklahoma brewers to allow craft breweries to operate under special licensing. On Tuesday, the city council approved the creation of an additional category of Oklahoma Brewer to the city’s fee schedule for ...

    April 23, 2014

  • City home first to include gray water system

    Neighbors are likely to be green with envy when Allen and Sallie Ahlert have a beautiful lawn and garden without paying extra for city water in the future. That’s because the Ahlerts are including a gray water system in the new home they ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Anti-abortion picketers target Moore schools

    MOORE — Moore City Council member Robert Krows said problems with picketers at schools have gravitated from Norman to Moore and parents are concerned....

    April 22, 2014

  • Oklahoma receives $77.18M tobacco settlement payment

    Oklahoma recieved $77.18 million in annual payments from the tobacco industry under the national Master Settlement Agreement. With the latest receipts, Oklahoma has received $1.16 billion since payments began in 1999. State Treasurer Ken ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • County hears presentation on employment opportunities

    The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation Monday to consider partnering with a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for prison inmates re-entering the community. Patrick Viklund, Center for ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Drilling operation shows policy gap

    While Norman residents are being encouraged to use rain barrels, a Texas oil and gas company is pumping thousands of gallons of treated drinking water into the ground. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission controls permits for drilling, ...

    April 12, 2014