Week 3 at the Oklahoma Legislature! The rush of deadlines surely played out this week with several committees hearing dozens of bills, and others passing on hearing many more.


House Side:


House A&B Subcommittee Finance

A variety of bills moved through last week, two of interest that are related to housing. One, House Bill (HB) 3933 by Rep. Melissa Provenzano (HD 79, Tulsa) would increase the value of exemptions on sales of delinquent property and the other, HB 3499 by Rep. Tammy West (HD 84, Bethany) would expand guidelines for landlords and tenants’ criminal history checks for the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Program.

House A&B Subcommittee Education

A positive bill in the economic justice and public health sphere, HB 3329 by Rep. Cynthia Roe (HD 42, Lindsay) seeks to offer free menstrual products in schools available in accessible locations. This bill passed out of committee, alongside HB 4132 by Rep. Amanda Swope (HD 71, Tulsa) that would require school resource officers to have mandatory mental health training.

House Judiciary- Criminal Committee

Eleven bills passed out of this very active committee last week. Several of these bills would increase penalties for crimes and extend jail time for offenses. These included HB 3098 by Rep. Toni Hasenbeck (HD 65, Elgin) that would expand the list of sexually transmitted diseases and the “willful spread” of that would be considered a felony. Another, HB 3696 by Rep. John George (HD 36, Newalla) would create a felony for assaulting a retail employee. Rep. Collin Duel (HD 31) joined the trend with HB 3776 that would make certain domestic violence charges crimes that one is required to serve 85% of their sentence. Rep. Jason Lowe (HD 97, OKC) raised concerns throughout committee that “every time (they) meet, they are always adding crimes to the 85% mandatory.”

Oklahoma still suffers from an extremely high incarceration rate, and continuing to seek punitive measures will not make for a safer home for anyone.

House General Government Committee

Two bills of note passed through this committee last week. One, HB 4133, by Rep. Amanda Swope (HD 71, Tulsa), would establish a notification process for the Governor when he is out of office. Last year, Gov. Stitt was out of the state during a major storm, and Senator Pro Tempore Greg Treat was not notified until nearly 24 hours later.

HB 3120, by Rep. Danny Williams (HD 28, Seminole) seeks to adjust standards related to sex education in public schools. Rep. Cyndi Munson (HD 85, OKC) inquired about why the definition of consent had been stricken out of the bill and removing it from curriculum. The author claimed the intent was to put control back in the hands of parents. However, Rep. Munson shared concerns about the need for better education around consent, especially with the high rates of dating and sexual violence in Oklahoma. Rep. Jared Deck (HD 44, Norman) also highlighted the benefits of sexual education in school and how it has impacted teenage pregnancy. The author said that these rates go up and down and correlate with promiscuity and people choosing to make good choices or bad choices.

Rep. Deck brought up the trends of increased STI’s (sexually transmitted infections), especially in older and more rural areas. Rep. Williams countered by using a personal story from his grandson about promiscuity and says that its more about drugs, alcohol, and lifestyle choices and that these changes are not related to education. Rep. Nick Archer (HD 55, Elk City) emphasized our top ten status for HIV, and how teachers are better trained for having these conversations about diseases than parents. Rep. Williams claims the intent is for parents to be more aware, and that this would make it an opt-in option rather than opt-out. There was an immense amount of debate that followed. Rep. Munson brought up that it reads as though the author is filing this based off what he thinks should be taught, not what is based off information and safety. The bill passed with a vote of 4-3.

House Public Safety

A notable that moved out of this committee was HB 3761, by Rep. Nicole Miller (HD 82, Edmond) would create an optional designation on drivers’ licenses for autism. It was emphasized that it is optional. It passed unanimously.

House Rules

An exemplary resolution from Rep. Regina Goodwin (HD 73, Tulsa) passed that seeks to amend the Oklahoma Constitution. House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1053 seeks to clarify procedures on resolving tied votes at the Board of Clemency. Currently, if there is a tie, people are defaulted to not being pardoned when their case is heard via the Pardon and Parole Board, including death penalty cases. These cases bank on members being present and available, and this would create opportunities for alternate members when the original members are not present.

House Criminal Justice and Corrections

A very interesting committee last week, the chair Rep. JJ Humphrey (HD 19, Lane) brought in people to present during the committee meeting about family members being assaulted in prisons. However, the legislation that moved through the committee was not related to the presentations. One bill HB 2431 by Rep. Lowe, allows nonviolent offenders to submit applications to Pardon and Parole Board every two years, while the other bill, HB 3022 focused on single-sex, gendered spaces in prisons.


Senate Side:


Senate Judiciary

This committee heard a toss-up of good and bad bills related to criminal justice reform and more. One, Senate Bill (SB) 1268 by Sen. Dave Rader (SD 39, Tulsa) focused on definitions of child pornography and expanded into materials including digital and AI-generated content.

SB 1199 by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom (SD 1, Adair) seeks to add accessory to murder as an 85% crime and saw a fair amount of bi-partisan debate against the bill. There were concerns raised about the lack of coordination with judges regarding the bill, and the very specific and personal case raised to file the legislation. The bill passed 7-4. SB 1994 by Sen. Rob Standridge (SD 15, Norman) also moved through, and is another bill focused on parental consent regarding “obscene materials” which seems to be a popular trend this session.

Another particular bill, SB 1672 by Sen. Julie Daniels (SD 29, Bartlesville) would seek to create a retirement age mandate on judicial officers. It was noted that this would empty up positions to be nominated by the governor. Sen. Floyd inquired if this had anything to do with the performance of the court and the legislation they have overturned. The author, Sen. Julie Daniels cited the “100 years of one-party rule in our state” and that the current courts do not reflect our state.


This next week is the deadline for bills to make it out of committee, so it is sure to be filled with busy and chaotic agendas!