Okla. gov inks bills on energy savings, abortion

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Gov. Mary Fallin signed more than 30 bills on Tuesday, including a measure requiring state agencies and colleges to save at least 20 percent in energy costs by 2020.

Other measures Fallin signed into law include an anti-abortion bill that holds doctors civilly liable for failing to follow informed consent laws and a bill that restricts the sale of a key ingredient used to make methamphetamine.

Fallin held a bill signing ceremony for the energy savings measure, which legislative analysts project could save the state as much as $500 million over the next eight years.

"My goal has always been to deliver a government that is smaller, smarter and more cost-efficient," Fallin said. "By pursuing these energy conservation reforms, we will be able to do just that."

A similar energy savings initiative launched at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater saved an estimated $19 million in energy costs since 2007 by requiring staff to do things like turn off lights and computer screens at night, OSU President Burns Hargis said.

"A lot of it is just common sense," Hargis said.

The anti-abortion bill applies to cases in which an abortion provider negligently violates informed consent laws related to abortions. It specifically allows women in such cases - or their parents or guardian if they're minors - to sue the provider, the prescriber of abortion-inducing drugs and any licensed medical provider who referred them to the abortion provider.

The meth-ingredient bill that Fallin signed further restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine, commonly found in cold and allergy medicines and also used to manufacture meth. The bill links Oklahoma to a national pseudoephedrine tracking system and limits the amount of pseudoephedrine products a person can purchase each month.

Oklahoma drug agents and all of the state's district attorneys pushed early in the session for a bill that would have required a doctor's prescription to purchase cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, but that proposal was quickly defeated amid opposition from drug company lobbyists. The bill that Fallin signed Tuesday was a compromise supported by pharmacy groups and the Oklahoma Medical Association.

(© 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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