Senator Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant
State Capitol Room 586
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 16, 2009
Senator Jay Paul Gumm
Senate Committee Approves Gumm’s Measure to Create
The Senate Rules Committee on Monday approved legislation
intended to streamline services for state agencies and organizations
that serve Oklahoma children. Senate Bill 697 by Sen. Jay
Paul Gumm would create Oklahoma’s first-ever Children’s
Cabinet to recommend and implement policies to improve the health
and well-being of children.
Gumm said the legislation would ensure that state
agencies are efficiently implementing resources through a shared
vision for Oklahoma’s youth.
“The Cabinet will allow us to bring everyone
to the table to reach consensus on comprehensive plans, maximizing
revenue at no additional cost to the state,” said Gumm,
D-Durant. “By taking this step, we can make a positive impact
on the lives of thousands of Oklahoma children. Our children are
our most precious resource, and we must do better for them.”
Gumm noted that Oklahoma ranks low in a number
of areas related to children’s health, safety and education.
Oklahoma is among the ten worst states in infant mortality rates,
teen death rates and child poverty. Child abuse and neglect has
increased 7.4% over the last 14 years, while the state’s
child poverty rate increased 13% over the past six years.
“Nothing is more important for state leaders
than to remove the barriers that can prevent our children from
living healthy lives and maximizing their potential,” Gumm
said. “It’s time for a more proactive approach to
one of our state’s most pressing issues. I’m pleased
the committee approved the bill.”
The Children’s Cabinet would be comprised
of 15 top ranking officials who agencies have interests in children’s
policy in Oklahoma. Support staff for the Cabinet would be provided
by the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.
The measure will advance for consideration by the
For more information contact:
Sen. Gumm's Office: 405-521-5586