Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons legislation passes Judiciary Committee

Collaborator: State of Oklahoma
Published: 02/26/2020, 9:41 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) Legislation that seeks to address the high number of missing and murdered indigenous people unanimously passed through the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday with a vote of 14 to 0. Ida’s Law (House Bill 3345), presented by Rep. Chelsey Branham, directs the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to create the Office of Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons to work with state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies on missing persons and homicide cases involving American Indian individuals. Some hiccups arose with the legislation when questions about funding put the bill in jeopardy. However, a committee amendment was added that made the legislation dependent on federal funding. “As a Chickasaw citizen and one of two Indigenous women in the legislature, I am prepared to fight for the needs of my indigenous community every day, and to make sure they have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that impact us,” said Branham. “When the chairman approached me, I was both honored to speak about the legislation on behalf of my community, and relieved the legislation would continue through the process.” Once the legislation began to struggle during the legislative process, House Judiciary Chairman Chris Kannady (R-OKC) stepped in and asked Branham to carry the bill. “This is an issue that is important to the state of Oklahoma and to me personally, so I thought it was important to ensure the bill went forward” said Kannady whose wife and children are Choctaw Citizens. "I truly appreciated Representative Branham's passion and guidance on the issue, and felt it was most appropriate for her, a native woman and trusted source on tribal issues, to carry the message forward. I know members seek and respect her opinions and perspectives where tribal issues are concerned, and she will be an asset in assisting me as we advance the legislation." Related story: https://youtu.be/1fpBfOP6K4I


This story has no comments yet