Monday, March 12, 2018

Stand-Your-Ground Bill Favored by Bennett; By State Rep. John Bennett

This week I debated in favor of a bill I co-authored that will extend Stand-Your-Ground protections to places of worship.

House Bill 2632 would grant immunity to anyone shooting in defense in a place of worship.

It’s very unfortunate we even have to consider a bill like this. But, we live in an evil world and unfortunately we now have to be ready to confront violence perpetrated in many places, including our churches.

At least 91 people have been killed in church shootings since 1991.

The bottom line is we have a constitutional and God-given right to defend ourselves, our families and others. This includes in our places of worship. This bill cements these rights and provides protections under the law for those who would act in defense of themselves and their fellow parishioners.

Another bill I co-authored, House Bill 2932, would require those who are on the state’s Medicaid roles to work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week unless they are exempted for age, medical or mental health reasons. After the bill passed, the governor announced an executive order to accomplish the same result.

I was an advocate and sponsor on a bill a few years ago that placed this same work requirement on those who receive food stamps as well as a bill to drug test welfare recipients.

Welfare and other government programs were designed specifically to give people a hand up not a hand out. If people really need a hand up, I support it 100 percent. However, we all know someone who has abused the system. When this happens, resources are taken away from those that truly need them.

We are implementing work requirements because it is the responsible way to run taxpayer-funded programs. Ten other states are pursuing this same legislation. This requirement will put these people on a path of independence. Those who earn too much to stay on Medicaid can transition to Insure Oklahoma. This measure doesn’t take away insurance, it just ensures those who can work do work.

One additional measure I want to mention is one I debated against. House Bill 2734 would allow a professional development program known as Consent and Healthy Relationships Education to be taught in our schools. On the surface, this material is promoted as teaching our young people what it means to consent to a sexual relationship and what it means not to consent. Similar legislation failed to make it through the Legislature last year. This is a gateway to a larger agenda that promotes homosexual and transgender lifestyle choices among our children.

In debate against this material, I read from a court case in which a man described his daughter taking part in a class taught in her school in which the teacher showed a video of two young men involved in a sexual relationship, disguised as teaching about consent and safe sexual practices. This teaching is part of the same program being advanced in the House. This bill passed, but I will work hard to make sure that each senator knows what is in this Pandora’s Box before it can pass through the Senate. We must protect our children from this agenda. 

In addition to all of the legislation we’re voting on this week, lawmakers also are working many other priority items, such as the budget for the next fiscal year and funding teacher pay raises. As we get closer to completing these priorities I will send updates.

John Bennett represents Oklahoma House District 2. He can be reached at (405) 557-7315 or

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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