Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Bill Signed into Law
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Mike Dobrinski, R-Okeene, today expressed thanks to Gov. Kevin Stitt for his signing into law a measure that would help victims of domestic violence as they establish new residences. House Bill 2242 would require public utilities and municipally owned utility providers to waive the initial credit and deposit requirements for documented victims of domestic violence. Dobrinski said the measure was a constituent request modeled after a plan proposal by the City of Edmond. "We must do everything we can to ensure the protection of domestic violence victims," Dobrinski said. "Easing the burden of these up-front fees when victims are trying to get somewhere safe away from their abusers will help. I'm gratified to provide this assistance to those who are vulnerable." Documentation for victims can include an existing protective order, a statement from law enforcement personnel, a statement of a designated representative of a certified domestic violence shelter or certified domestic violence program pursuant to state statute. Dobrinski thanked Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, who authored the legislation in the Senate. “Given the prevalence of domestic violence in our state and the fact that more women are killed by men than in any other state, we must do all we can to get these victims away from their abusers as quickly as possible and into a safe space,” Pugh said. “This bill will ensure victims don’t stay in a dangerous situation simply because they have bad or no credit or lack the money for a housing deposit. No one’s life is worth that, and I’m glad this protection is now law in Oklahoma.” An emergency clause in the bill makes it immediately effective.