The Latest in Oklahoma: March 22, 2024

March 22, 2024

NASL member firm A&A Advocates provides an update below:

Speaker of the House Charles McCall insisted that Oklahoma lawmakers could and should pass legislation this year to cut taxes, in addition to the bill eliminating the state’s 4.5% tax on groceries. McCall remains hopeful that tax legislation passed in the House will gain traction—despite comments from Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat that the Senate will not consider additional tax cuts this year. 

Oklahoma lawmakers have signed SB 458 by Sen. Brenda Stanley, R-Midwest City, and Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, that would allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to prescribe certain drugs without the oversight of doctors.  The bill has advanced for consideration by Gov. Kevin Stitt. 

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond on Wednesday urged the Legislature to enact a law similar to a disputed Texas statute that allows state and local law officers to arrest people for being in the state without proper documentation. Shortly after, Speaker of the House Charles McCall said he will oblige. Iowa passed similar legislation on Tuesday—and a few other states are considering it. 

Following the 2019 licensure actions that  unfolded and were ruled to have automatically renewed the state’s Model Tribal Gaming Compact, Gov. Kevin Stitt asked the Horse Racing Commission to pass a resolution to prevent similar automatic renewals in the future. However,  members of the Horse Racing Commission—which governs racing and casino contracts at the state’s three horse tracks—took no action on the proposed resolution Thursday. 

The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a number of measures focused on criminal justice, from updating penalties for certain crimes to clarifying the law around Pardon and Parole board clemency votes . With nine weeks left in the 2024 legislative session, read where criminal justice bills stand here

Attorney General Gentner Drummond is warning Oklahoma consumers about a rise in scams involving “Bitcoin ATMs” that are leaving victims with depleted bank accounts. “Bitcoin ATMs” are virtual currency kiosks located in grocery stores, gas stations and malls. They look like traditional ATMs but they allow individuals to purchase and send virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether. 

What We’re Watching

Oklahoma Astronaut General Thomas Stafford passed away on Monday—leading many lawmakers to reflect and honor his life this week. Stafford made history, becoming the first man to pilot a Lunar Module into orbit and commanding the Apollo 10 mission to the moon. 

Oklahoma supporters of open primaries are working on aninitiative petitionto let voters decide whether or not a massive change to the election process is needed.

On Wednesday, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced his participation in the National Governors Association’s Disagree Better initiative, recognizing that despite the political polarization in the United States, we can work through our differences to find common ground and solutions to the issues facing our nation. Watch the full video on Governor Stitt’s YouTube page here.

“National Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on the remarkable achievements of women throughout history and to recognize the enduring legacy of those who dared to challenge the status quo. The Women’s Legislative Caucus strives to honor their legacy year-round by amplifying their stories and recognizing the numerous ways they shaped our world and state for the better. Together, we can build a future where women are not limited by their gender but instead have every opportunity to thrive.” – Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, celebrates  Women’s History Month 

Upcoming Legislative Deadlines

April 8, 2023

Deadline for SBs/SJRs Out of Subcommittee

April 11, 2023

Deadline report House legislation from Senate committees

April 12, 2024

Deadline for SBs/SJRs Out of Standing Committee

April 19, 2024

Deadline for SBs/SJRs Out of Full A&B Committee

April 25, 2024

Deadline for Third Reading of Bills and Joint Resolutions from Opposite Chamber

May 31, 2024

Sine Die Adjournment