Only a few days of Ramadan left! am looking forward to all the Eid celebrations!
On the Legis side, May 28th is Sine Die! Meaning there is less than a month of session left. This week has been spent mostly in Conference Committees. These committees are made up of members from both chambers; the House and Senate. A bill ends up in Conference Committee when it has passed both the House and Senate, but in different versions, or with differing amendments. The purpose is to settle on a single version of the bill to send the Governor.
The budget has yet to be released and as we move closer to Sine Die, this will become the hot item on the agenda. Oklahoma has one of the least transparent budget systems in America. There is little room for debate or public input as the bulk of its creation is done behind closed doors. See: https://oklahomawatch.org/newsletter/capitol-watch-with-less-than-a-month-left-legislatures-budget-plan-remains-elusive/
Controversial bill HB 1775, prohibiting State Higher Education from having mandatory training or course content related to gender, racial and sexual diversity was signed by the Governor Friday. CAIR-OK and many other advocacy groups released Action Alerts encouraging the public to call and email Governor Stitt and ask him to veto this bill. He however doubled down on the conservative stance, by not just signing the bill, but releasing an executive order throwing his full support onto the bill. In his statement he insinuated critical race theory (CRT) is a “fringe” theory and that this bill is meant to “divide.” You can read the Executive Order here.
To end on a positive note; this week the Governor signed Maria’s Law, which requires school districts to include mental health in their curriculum!
May your fast be easy as you finish up these final days of Ramadan,
Lani R. Habrock