OKLAHOMA CITY - Robin Roberson has resigned as executive director of the state's unemployment agency.
Roberson submitted her resignation from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission midday Friday after being encouraged to step down, she told The Oklahoman.
The commission's board met behind closed doors Friday to discuss hiring a new director, and they were planning to call a special meeting next week to replace her, Roberson said.
"I've been asked since last Tuesday to take extended leave until all this is over, and I can't just sit by and do that," Roberson said. "And I had five different phone calls yesterday encouraging me to do so before the (OESC) meeting this morning."
Senate Bill 2, a late addition to Monday's House agenda, passed 73-19 after 2½ hours of discussion and debate. It now returns to the Senate, which refused to hear the same language earlier this session.
"It is best not to get COVID," said Dr. Stan Schwartz, CEO at WellOK, The Northeastern Oklahoma Business Coalition on Health, as he discussed the University of Oxford research. "It's not a matter of you get well or you get dead, you can have long-term complications."
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a loss of revenue for some service and health-oriented industries, but statistics show that workers in Oklahoma's legal medical cannabis industry now exceed the number of construction workers.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported that nearly 18,000 Oklahoma workers filed initial claims for unemployment benefits during the week ending Saturday. During the prior week, 13,852 sought benefits for the first time.
Among the bills passed was one requested by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. Senate Bill 87, by Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow, would authorize counties to establish diversion programs for people in possession of controlled dangerous substances.