Here are three bills I voted for that are being labeled as liberal.

TANNING

In SB 765 minors are restricted from using indoor tanning facilities.

Skin cancer is increasing dramatically, especially in younger people. Tanning beds are one of the causes. We don't let minors buy cigarettes because we want them to be adults before they opt to start breathing in carcinogens, so why would we not want a similar restriction to help keep our children from getting melanoma?

Some argue that by voting for this bill lawmakers were saying, "people can't handle their own decisions and the state needs to protect them from their own stupidity." Would they be upset if a bill were proposed to allow minors to decide if they want an abortion?

There are times when we need to restrict access of minors to products or services.

REAL ID

HB 1845 brings Oklahoma into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. It allows Oklahoma residents to get a drivers license for use in boarding airplanes and entering military facilities. Once the federal law is fully implemented you will either have to have a passport or a REAL ID compliant license to board a plane. Those who work at Fort Sill or Tinker AFB or other military installations will have to have this to go to work.

The bill allows Oklahoma citizens to opt out and get a non-compliant license.

AUDITING

Out-of-state businesses doing business in Oklahoma often fail to accurately report their income or collect appropriate taxes in our state. HB 1427 approves auditors to inspect the books of those companies. When other states started doing this, businesses suddenly chose compliance rather than face stiff penalties. This should bring tens of millions of dollars to the state. Money that is owed Oklahoma.

I consider these bills conservative. What do you think?

I welcome your questions and concerns, so please feel free to contact my office at the State Capitol if you would like to discuss a particular issue or problem. Our office can be reached by phone at 405-521-5561 or by email at bergstrom@oksenate.gov. If you visit the Capitol, we are located in Room 527A.