Here’s the Latest:
As of May 20, 2020
Week of May 4-8, 2020
Week of April 19-24, 2020
We’re sending you all kinds of good vibes for the weekend and the week ahead. Hang in there! And as always, reach out to us with any questions or concerns you have. We’re here for you.
Week of April 13-17, 2020
Take care of yourselves, wear masks when you go to the store, get some sunshine and exercise, and remember to reach out to friends and family who live alone. We’re all in this together, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Week of April 6-10, 2020
Week of March 30-April 3, 2020
f Equalization will direct the Legislature on how deep the revenue hole is, and then the Legislature will most likely look at using the Rainy Day Fund (which has a current balance of $806.2 million) to fill the gap in revenue to protect agencies against cuts.
Week of March 23-27, 2020
Week of March 9-13, 2020
Week of March 2-6, 2020
Week of February 24-28, 2020
Week of February 17-21, 2020
Week of February 10-14, 2020
SJR25, or the ERA, has been assigned to the Senate Rules committee. Reach out to committee chair Senator Jech and ask him to confirm our request to have the bill heard in committee next Wednesday. You can find Senator Jech’s contact information, including his office address, phone, and email, through this link. And before we all inundate Senator Jech’s office with calls and emails, be sure to read up on why we need the ERA here.
P.S. — Did you catch the new state branding that was unveiled this week? If not, we got you. When asked about the rebrand, Governor Stitt wrote, “If we don’t define Oklahoma’s brand, 49 other states will.” You can read more about the rebrand process and view images of the new brand here.
Week of February 3-7, 2020
- Criminal Justice Reform: Stitt thanked lawmakers for passing legislation that allowed the Pardon and Parole Board to take on more work without increasing its funding or number of employees. In order to complete his plan for agency consolidation, Stitt asked lawmakers to pass legislation that absorbs the Board’s operations into the Department of Corrections.
- Medicaid Expansion: The governor spoke briefly about his choice to expand Medicaid through the Trump administration’s block-grant model called Healthy Adult Opportunity. This comes as an alternative to the Medicaid Expansion question SQ802, which voters support. To read more about why Stitt’s proposition isn’t the way to expand access to healthcare in Oklahoma, check out OKPolicy’s statement here.
You can read an annotated copy of Stitt’s speech here.
- SJR25, or the Equal Rights Amendment, which would ensure women’s rights are incorporated in and protected under the Constitution as an overarching norm no longer vulnerable to inconsistencies in interpretation. If passed, Oklahoma would be the 39th state to ratify the ERA. This bill was introduced by Senator Floyd.
- SB1253, which adds health and physical education to the list of curricular standards to be taught in Oklahoma’s public schools. Oklahoma falls behind on many student health metrics, and this could greatly improve student health literacy, healthy behaviors, and academic achievement. This bill was introduced by Senator Haste.
- HB1289, which would prevent the state from suspending, revoking, or refusing to renew driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and fees. Debt-related suspensions not only prevent Oklahomans from earning the money they need to pay these fees, but also undermine their ability to support themselves and their families. This bill was introduced by Representative Nicole Miller. Read more about the goals of the bill here.
We’re also paying close attention to HB1182, a disconcerting anti-abortion bill which passed the House this Thursday with a 71-21 vote along party lines. The measure revokes for one year the medical licenses of doctors performing abortions, except when the woman’s life is in danger. To learn more, read this article by the Tulsa World. The bill, originally authored by Representative Olsen, is now eligible to be heard in the Senate.
Finally, we’re excited to announce the launch of the Legislative Tracker. We’re proud to partner with Metriarch to provide you easy access to updates on all bills relating to women’s health and wellbeing this session. We’ll begin uploading and tracking these bills starting next week.
Check back for weekly updates at the Capitol every Friday during session.