The first deadline ended with a flurry of last-minute attempts for bills to get heard in committee or become dormant, inactive for the remainder of the session. Before diving into some of the key committee hearings, we would like to note some crucial bills that have unfortunately progressed past the first stage.

Bad Bills

HB 4090

Authored by Rep. David Hardin (HD 86, Stilwell) and sponsored by Sen. Darrell Weaver (HD 24, Moore), House Bill (HB) 4090 is an “immigration bill” as illustrated by the author. He claims we are in a national security issue, and this is only to target the “illegals” in our state. The bill would give two choices for a judge following an arrest. These entail felony charges and imprisonment or deportation. It only received one no vote in committee from Rep. Jason Lowe (HD 97, OKC). This harmful rhetoric continues to threaten communities in our state and vilify individuals without cause or purpose.

HB 3071

By Rep. Neil Hays (HD 13, Checotah) would limit any “public entity, private entity, or municipality that knowingly provides services to illegals” to not be eligible for state tax dollars. Rep. Cyndi Munson (HD 85, OKC) highlighted concerns on the broadness of the bill, and who would enforce or track this information. One area that was mentioned was education, and that the Oklahoma Constitution guarantees access to free public education for all children. The author felt that the court’s ruling could be changed as he does not consider “all children” to include “illegal immigrants”. There is a growing targeting of the courts, and their ruling of many state legislators’ unconstitutional legislation attempts.

The author cited that his overall goal with the bill was to make Oklahoma “one of the least attractive states for immigrants to want to come to” once they cross the border.

SB 1579

Senate Bill (SB 1579) by Sen. Warren Hamilton (SD 7, McCurtain) seeks to authorize the Commissioner of Public Safety to collect information related to individuals involved in certain activities and penalizes the unauthorized release of such and related information. It’s a copy of a bill from last year with much of the language focused on “terrorism” and streamlining information between local, state, and federal agencies.

One nay from Sen. Michael Brooks (SD 44, OKC)

HB 3542 

By Rep. John Pfeiffer (HD 38, Orlando) would create an Oklahoma Counterterrorism Information Agency and a related Commission and transfers the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center into it. The current Fusion Center was started after 9/11 and has never been in statute.

Rep. Goodwin (HD 73, Tulsa) brought up concerns about the language that would permit sharing with local, state, and federal law enforcements and nongovernmental agencies. The author said that nongovernmental agencies would not include sharing private information with anyone but was aimed at tribal partners. Rep. Jason Lowe inquired about the rhetoric of information gathering on “suspicious activity” and was told that the internal operations will not change based on the current Fusion Center. Rep. Goodwin highlighted concerns about “suspicious activity” and how communities of color are disproportionately targeted as suspicious.

Two nay votes, Rep. Goodwin and Rep. Lowe.

Efforts to lobby against these harmful bills are underway. If you’d like to join us and our coalitions to continue fighting against bad policy that harms all Oklahomans, get in touch with us!


House Side:

House Elections and Ethics

HB 3815 by Rep. Mickey Dollens (HD 93, OKC) would prohibit candidates, political action committees, and committees for or against ballot initiatives or referenda from accepting donations from foreign principals. There is a similar bill being run concurrently in the Senate as well. The intent was to continue efforts to keep elections ethical. The bill passed.


House Public Safety

HB 3570 by Rep. Robert Manger (HD 101, OKC) would expand the use of automated license plate readers on state highways by the Department of Public Safety. Rep. Regina Goodwin expressed concerns on data collection and use. The author said the information is kept for 30 days unless it is part of an active investigation. Rep. Goodwin also expressed concerns about the placements in communities and how having more cameras would impact certain populations more. The author says it will be used more for amber alerts not traffic stops, however Rep. Goodwin highlighted they can still be multi-purpose and show warrants.

Rep. Lowe asked regarding the information sharing with the federal government, the author said the information would still be destroyed after 30 days. Rep. Jason Lowe asked how it is going to filter only that information and exclude misdemeanors and other information. There were not clear answers regarding how it cannot scan for other information registered with a license plate.

Rep. Goodwin and Rep. Lowe voted against.

Senate Side:

Senate Judiciary Committee

A positive bill moved out of this committee last week, SB 1757 by Sen. Julia Kirt (SD 30, OKC) and Rep. Daniel Pae (HD 62, Lawton) would extend the time for evictions and eviction summons. Currently Oklahoma has a 5-day timeline for setting a trial for tenants, and still no protections for anti-retaliation. This would help find some reprieve for people when it comes to court dates and potential forcible entry and detainer.

SB 1769 also passed out of this committee and is one of many bills focused on initiative petitions in addition to “foreign principals”. By Sen. David Bullard (SD 6, Durant) would stop “foreign finances from coming in on candidate campaigns and state ballots”.  Sen. Brooks asked for clarification about people living outside of the United States, the author verified it should not affect citizens living abroad. There would be a two-step punitive measure for money “knowingly” accepted. Passed unanimously.

Senate Public Safety

Authored by Sen. Jack Stewart (SD 18, Yukon), SB 1834 would allow for homeless people caught trespassing to serve time working instead of facing fines or jail time. There were no questions or debate. The bill passed, but had 3 no votes from Sen. Michael Brooks, Sen. Carri Hicks, and Sen. George Burns. Bills such as these seek to pursue measures more akin to slavery than providing real answers for unhoused individuals.

Senate General Government

SB 1530 by Sen. Jessica Garvin (SD 43, Duncan) is the “Women’s Bill of Rights” that was run last session. It seeks to codify the executive order by Gov. Stitt, even though the order is still in effect. Sen. Floyd asked why this is then necessary and Sen. Garvin presented a personal story as evidence. Many advocates have opposed this bill as it presents exclusionary language and Sen. Floyd shared the concerns about the unintended consequences this could create.

The bill passed with one no vote from Sen. Floyd.


While many good, bad and other bills will now be out of contention for new law, the rhetoric moving forward continues to target our most vulnerable populations and demonize immigrants and communities of color. It is more important than ever to get to know your elected officials and check in with how they vote on these crucial topics.