House interim study on PTSD in first responders reaches solution ahead of schedule

Staff Writer

State Reps. Josh West (R-Grove) and Chris Kannady (R-Oklahoma City) announced today that Interim Study 19-007 would be cancelled given that the parties involved have reached a solution.

The study, focusing on post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health among first responders, was originally scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.

“We’re confident that the House understands the need to address this issue and supports our efforts,” Kannady said. “We’re glad there appears to be a consensus among members on this issue, and we welcome suggestions to help improve the bill without removing the much-needed benefits for our state’s first responders.”

“What is upsetting to me is not that there is opposition to this legislation, but that those opposed did so in a secret meeting without sharing their concerns with me. It’s cowardly and lacks intestinal fortitude,” West said. “After this legislation passed the House 95-0 last session, it was never heard in the Senate. I was optimistic that all parties would work together to come up with a compromise that will benefit our first responders who suffer from PTSD. It is sad to me that our desire to help those afflicted with PTSD is shaping-up to be a battle rather than consensus.”

Kannady said legislation will be filed to address this policy area. The deadline to file new bills is Dec. 13, 2019.

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