Children issues faired well in last legislative session

Monday, July 21st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- An advocacy groups says children faired well in the last legislative session.

In a recent report, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy says five of the nine bills on its legislative agenda passed.

The group says the passage of bill that prohibits smoking in public places is a victory for children. The group also cited additional funding for health care programs children and pregnant women and funding for school readiness programs as victories.

Increases in cigarette taxes and an increase in tax credits for employers who invest in employee child care were among the defeated bills the group's agenda.

Legislation that would have changed sentencing guidelines for nonviolent offenders was also defeated. Oklahoma has the highest rate of female incarceration. Many of the women in jail are nonviolent offenders and mothers.

When parents are sent to jail, children are often put in foster care.