18 March 2003
Oklahoma gears up
With war now more or less inevitable, the state legislature has been working up fresh measures to deal with the possibility of terrorist attacks. Each of these bills has passed one house and must be approved by the other to become law.
HB 1467, perhaps the most controversial, empowers the state to quarantine individuals and property exposed to infectious diseases distributed by biological weapons.
SB 509 authorizes the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to investigate acts of terrorism, and instructs the Attorney General to seek judicial authority for electronic surveillance of terrorism suspects.
SB 696 would set up vaccination programs, contingent upon receiving federal funding.
Meanwhile, the state's Congressional delegation (four Republicans and one Democrat in the House, two Republicans in the Senate) has declared itself to be in full support of the war effort.