Oklahoma Sen. John Haste has become one of Broken Arrow’s best elected officials, keeping a strict eye on taxpayer funds and embracing advocacy for health care and youth.
The Broken Arrow businessman first ran in 2018 for an open seat and quickly found interest in areas of health and human services. His first bill, Senate Bill 446, required the State Education Department to develop educator training programs on student mental health. The bill was inspired after listening to teachers say they needed more help in dealing with the mental health challenges of youths.
That’s how Haste works: He listens, then acts. He is a through-and-through conservative without a need to make headlines or create division.
Haste deserves to be reelected to the District 36 seat. Boundaries for the Broken Arrow district roughly run from about Garnett Road east to 289th East Avenue and from 23rd Street to 71st Street and neighborhoods that jigsaw south to 91st Street.
People are also reading…
Haste is co-chair of the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding’s working group on Health and Human Services. He was integral in the recent passage of a bill to use $55 million of ARPA funds to address the nursing shortage by establishing or expanding programs at 21 state colleges, universities and technology centers.
One of his most significant contributions was bringing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Oklahoma. Haste heard Parton speak about the program in 2019, then sponsored a bill with Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore, the following year to make it available in the state’s 77 counties through a revolving fund and community partnerships. Through the program, children from birth to age 5 can receive a free book a month.
Haste has been involved in a task force to expand concurrent college enrollment in high schools and has an interest in child care availability as a workforce issue.
That doesn’t mean we’ve agreed with all Haste’s votes and positions, particularly his support of the failed private school voucher bill. But we don’t have to agree on everything to acknowledge the good he has done and work ethic he has shown.
Haste has drawn one opponent for the primary, who has not complied with the state-required Ethics Commission reporting for this election. Campaign opposition circulating online has unfortunately mischaracterized and distorted Haste’s record into lies and vile accusations. We urge voters to look at his official record.
We believe that Haste is a man of his word and strives to represent the interests of all his constituents. Broken Arrow would be well-served by four more years with Haste.