2019 Legislative Session

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the leader of the Senate wanting a more rigorous vetting process for gubernatorial nominations brought before the Senate and another member of the State Supreme Court leaving Governor Stitt with two positions to fill in his first few months in office.

Oklahoma State Senate

A bill to help solve missing persons cases is one step away from becoming law in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma House and Senate approved House Bill 2640, which would require law enforcement, medical examiners, and coroners to enter all missing and unidentified persons’ information into a national database.

Senator Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville) says the measure—known as Francine’s Law—will help solve cold cases.

Starting this July, if you sell your car, the license tag stays with you rather than the vehicle.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission is implementing the policy, based off Senate Bill 1339 passed last year and signed by then-Governor Mary Fallin.

Caroline Halter

It has been nearly one year since the teacher walkout, when thousands of educators flooded Oklahoma’s state capitol demanding better pay and more school funding. After nine days and little progress, they turned their attention to the 2018 elections.

We will go to the ballot boxes in June and in November. We will campaign for candidates who are friendly to public education,” said Ponca City teacher Zach Murray on the last day of the walkout. “No more will education be secondary to everything else.”

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Red Bud Dispensary in Marlow, Okla. looks like an Apple store, with white walls and track lighting. The dispensary is packed with people, but they aren’t here to buy medical marijuana. The dispensary hasn’t technically opened yet, so it doesn’t even have THC products – the mainly middle-aged crowd is standing around empty glass cases. They are here for something else – a doctor’s recommendation.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political COnsultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Senate Bill 195 which was changed from a trigger bill making abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade was stuck down to an anti-abortion bill going before Oklahoma voters, only 810 pieces of legislation remain after last week's deadline and two Republican lawmakers get to meet with President Trump regarding free speech at Oklahoma colleges, universities and career techs.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Millions of dollars to make more room in the state’s drug courts, mental health courts, and community sentencing programs could be a possibility under a bill now being considered by the Oklahoma Senate.

State Representative John Waldron wants the Legislature to authorize a new fund to pay for up to 875 additional people to be diverted into treatment programs instead of prison.

LLUDO / FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

With a huge freshman class and a promise for less gridlock, Oklahoma lawmakers filed more than 2,800 bills this legislative session. With a third of the session now over, the StateImpact team has an update on some bills we’re following.

 

Health

 

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

With a pending investigation of the state’s largest virtual charter school, the Oklahoma House advanced a bill Wednesday designed to increase transparency for the virtual charter system.

House Bill 1395, authored by Rep. Sheila Dills (R-Tulsa), says virtual charters are subject to the same financial reporting as public schools.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Tracy Smallwood says her life before she went to prison was just “dead time.”

“I was always in a room just getting high,” Smallwood explained. “But there’s so much more. So much more out there.

Smallwood tries to hold back tears in her two-bedroom apartment north of downtown Tulsa. Today, she’s an active church member, she’s in a 12-step recovery program and she works as a forklift operator. However, a few months ago, she was in prison for multiple drug-related convictions.

Pages