2021: A Year of Action
Representative Daniel Pae

As the election season has winded down, I have ramped up my work behind the scenes in preparation for a year of action by introducing key legislation addressing vital issues impacting our community. One bipartisan piece of legislation that I will continue working on with Rep. Carol Bush and Sen. John Montgomery is creating a harm-reduction program in Oklahoma. This legislation allows governmental entities, religious institutions, nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, and tribal governments to offer harm-reduction services. Research shows individuals participating in this program are five times more likely to go into drug treatment. The Institute of Medicine estimates that each program may produce up to $50,000 in savings per person preventing the spread of HIV. This bill reduces a stick that will harm the likelihood of law enforcement from a dirty needle, which is a situation that occurs for 1 in 3 law enforcement officers during their careers. If we get this harm reduction program passed and implemented, we could live in a state with lower drug usage, better protections for law enforcement, and fewer deaths related to HIV and hepatitis. 

Another policy area that has received bipartisan support addresses the missing and murdered indigenous people (MMIP) crisis. Like most issues, one of the most significant barriers to helping with the crisis in MMIP is education. The two bills I filed this year dealt with educating the public when indigenous people go missing and educating law enforcement about this community’s needs. One bill creates a Red Alert System through the Department of Public Safety when indigenous people are reported missing. Another bill would require law enforcement officers to take an additional hour of CLEET training that would focus solely on cultural competency and sensitivity training when interacting with missing indigenous people and their families. I look forward to working with Representatives Mickey Dollens and Merelyn Bell on this crucial topic.

As your representative, I have profound respect for the constituents I represent. I work diligently on your behalf to push Lawton forward positively and productively for the betterment of our community. Overall, 2020 has been a year of conversation. Let us make sure 2021 is a year of action. I am honored to be a public servant of Lawton and look forward to taking on the next term with respect, integrity, and proactive communication. 

Representative Daniel Pae (House District 62)

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