OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Kevin Stitt vetoed a bill this week that was meant to update the education curriculum on HIV and AIDS.
The bill would have updated the requirements for public schools in Oklahoma when it comes to teaching about HIV and AIDS. Governor Stitt says federal laws and work by state agencies make the bill redundant.
"I just hate signing redundant laws and creating more problems, more hoops to jump through, that is already all of our state agencies can write, can already do education. Look at what the Trump administration is putting down, what the health care authority is saying -- so it's just a redundant law." -- Governor Kevin Stitt
H.O.P.E. Clinic -- a nonprofit that performs tests and provides education about HIV and AIDS in northeast Oklahoma -- released the following response Thursday after the bill was vetoed:
“I am deeply disappointed in the decision by Governor Stitt to veto HB 1018; legislation that would have taken the necessary steps to bring Oklahoma’s sexual health education into the twenty-first century. Young adults in Oklahoma deserve to receive updated, accurate, and up-to-the-minute HIV and AIDS comprehensive prevention education. In order for Oklahoma to address the HIV epidemic in our state, comprehensive sexual health education is the first, most effective step to stop the spread of HIV.
Thank you to the legislative leaders in the House and Senate who voted to pass this important legislation. Thank you to the numerous agencies and advocates who worked to educate the public to reduce HIV-related stigma.
The H.O.P.E. staff and I look forward to working with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma State Department of Health to reform HIV and AIDS comprehensive prevention education standards in the state and bring an end to the spread of HIV in Oklahoma.”
“Health Outreach Prevention Education, Inc. educated over 6,000 individuals in 2018 in 26 counties in Northeastern Oklahoma.” -- Kathy L. WIlliams, PhD, Executive Director of Health Outreach Prevention Education, Inc. (H.O.P.E.)
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